Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will share $325 million, provided by the Asian Development Bank, to improve facilities in energy, education and health sectors.

Economic Affairs Division Additional Secretary Anjum Assad Amin signed the loan agreement with ADB Pakistan Director Werner E Liepach in Islamabad on Tuesday. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also attended the signing ceremony.

The Results-Based Loan: Access to Clean Energy Investment Programme agreement paves the way for both the provinces to finance several hydropower projects.

Under the agreement, $238 million will be spent on Khyber Pakhtunkhawa while $87 million will be spent on Punjab.

ADB’s financial assistance would target off-grid areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and contribute to Pakistan’s national goal catering to its energy requirements. The programme will be implemented over a period of five years, from 2017 to 2021.

The programme is also gender-sensitive, officials say. Some seven per cent of households, which are headed by women, will benefit from the 1,000 micro power plants that will be installed in various small towns and villages in KP.

Solar panels will also be installed in some 8,187 schools, with 30 per cent of them being girls-only. The OCR will also be used to train women and improve their skill sets.

In Punjab, the fund will be utilised for installation of solar facilities in approximately 17,400 schools and public health facilities. It includes the installation of a solar facility in the University of Bahawalpur.