Pakistan pledges $3m in SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund

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Islamabad, April 10 (IANS) Pakistan has pledged to contribute $3 million in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support regional efforts in the fight against the global pandemic, it was reorted.

“While communicating Pakistan’s decision to the Saarc Secretariat, it has been conveyed that all proceeds of the fund should be administered by the Saarc Secretariat and that the modalities for the fund’s utilisation should be finalised through consultations with the member states as per the Saarc Charter,” The Express Tribune quoted the Foreign Office as saying in a statement on Thursday.
According to the statement, the news about Pakistan’s contribution was also conveyed during a telephone conversation between Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Secretary General Saarc Esala Ruwan Weerakoon earlier in the day.
“Being a founding member, Pakistan considers Saarc an important platform for regional cooperation.
“Pakistan remains committed to the Saarc process and will continue working with the member states to strengthen regional cooperation,” it added.
On March 15, Saarc leaders held a virtual summit which was spearheaded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to chalk out a common strategy for combating the novel coronavirus in the South Asian region.
India has pledged $10 million, Bangladesh $1.5 million, Nepal $1 million, Afghanistan $1 million, the Maldives $200,000 and Bhutan $100,000.