Press Trust of india

SAARC Development Fund allocates USD 5 million to deal with COVID-19

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New Delhi:  The SAARC Development Fund (SDF) on Tuesday said it has allocated USD 5 million (about Rs 38 crore) for COVID-19 projects in eight member countries as the virus pandemic threatens economic activities across the globe.

This COVID-19 project shall be funded by SDF under its social window thematic areas, it said in a statement.

SDF’s social window primarily funds projects on poverty alleviation, social development focusing on education, health, and human resource development, among others.

“The objective of the USD 5 million allocation is to provide fund support to the member states in their efforts and to protect the people of the SAARC member states by mitigating the financial losses and severe socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” SDF CEO Sunil Motiwal said.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the eight members of the SAARC formation.

“The approval process, project implementation, fund disbursement, management, monitoring and reporting shall be as per the existing SDF-Board approved policy, and practices of SDF and social window,” Motiwal said.

The SAARC Development Fund is mandated to build regional integration and economic cooperation through project funding in all the member countries through its economic, infrastructure and social windows.

The Secretariat is based in Thimphu Bhutan.

Currently, SDF is implementing 90 projects in SAARC countries under its three funding windows with a total fund commitment/allocation of USD 198.24 million.

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