AFD pledges US$16 million loan for expansions at AKU

Karachi: Agence Française de Development, the French finance institution for development, will be loaning US $16 million to the Aga Khan Hospital (AKU) and Medical College Foundation to support its expansion of infrastructure facilities on the stadium road campus in Karachi.

A Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) confirming the pledge was signed by Country Head AFD Denis Cassat and Director General and Chief Financial Officer AKU Al-Karim Haji on Monday. Ambassador Philippe Thiebaud and President AKU Firoz Rasul presided over the ceremony.

This investment will refinance and fund infrastructure projects. Infrastructure financing include the induction of a third 1.75MW gas generator to reduce dependency on erratic city power and a 16MW grid station to be completed this year that will become the primary source of electricity for the University and its teaching hospital. There are also plans to recover waste heat from the gas generators and to increase the efficiency of the existing plant from 37 per cent to more than 75 per cent.

As part of its continued efforts to ensure the safe disposal of infectious waste, the university hospital has installed a sophisticated incinerator that minimizes exposure to waste while meeting European Union(EU) clean air emission standards; by-product heat from the incinerator is used to generate almost 50 per cent of the hot water requirements for the campus. To meet the needs of the ambitious plans to expand health care services, a second incinerator is planned for 2015.

Proceeds from the refinancing will be used to fund a new ambulatory care building, neonatal, medical and paediatric intensive care units, a centre for innovation in medical education, a centre for early childhood development, a new private wing, and a new office building.

This loan is part of AKU’s US $150 million investment in expanding academic programmes and improving access to quality health care in Pakistan a visible statement of commitment to the country.

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