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IDB To Provide $251M Loan For Pakistan’s Polio Vaccination Program

“The Islamic Development Bank has approved a $251 million loan for Pakistan’s anti-polio program as attacks against health workers continue,” Devex’s “Development Newswire” reports. “The loan will finance a program worth $300 million, which will be managed by the Pakistani government until 2015, when the disease is expected to be eradicated,” according to Devex. “Part of the loan will be channeled through the World Health Organization and UNICEF for the payment of staff involved in mobilizing Pakistanis and monitoring the project’s success,” the news service adds (Morales, 2/6).

According to an official in Pakistan, the government will supply the additional $49 million for the program, Dawn reports. “‘We have to tell the people that any foreign funding is not involved in the campaign to dispel the impression that the program is used for getting some hidden objectives, like making recipients infertile and impotent or spying on the Taliban,’ an official said,” the newspaper adds (Yusufzai, 2/5). The announcement comes after two polio workers were killed January 31 in a roadside bomb explosion, Devex notes (2/6).