President Donald Trump on Wednesday assured the US support to Pakistan in its efforts to combat Covid-19, including by providing ventilators as well as in the economic arena. In a telephonic conversation, Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Trump discussed the coronavirus pandemic-related challenges, their implications on the global economy and the ways to mitigate the impact. The US president appreciated the prime minister’s telephone call and expression of support for the US efforts to combat Covid-19. Having learned about testing of Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Trump offered to send the latest rapid testing machine for Covid-19 to the prime minister. The prime minister thanked President Trump for the gesture. The two leaders also exchanged views on regional issues and further strengthening of Pakistan-US cooperation, a press release issued by the PM Media Office here said. Prime Minister Imran Khan conveyed sympathies and condolences on the loss of so many precious lives in the United States due to the coronavirus. He also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The prime minister emphasized that Pakistan is facing a dual challenge of overcoming the pandemic and saving the people, particularly the most vulnerable segments of the population, from hunger due to the lockdown. He underlined that the government has put together a $8 billion package to support the affected people and businesses. While thanking President Trump for the US support in the International Monetary Fund and other forums, Imran Khan said it will provide necessary fiscal space to Pakistan and help in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. In the regional context, the prime minister highlighted Pakistan’s steadfast support for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and the importance of political settlement. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for facilitation of the Afghan peace process and underscored the importance of next steps leading to the earliest commencement of Intra-Afghan negotiations. Meanwhile, Special Assistant to President Trump Judd Deere said in a readout, “The leaders discussed developments in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to continue working together on a coordinated response to defeat the virus and minimize its economic impact. The two leaders also discussed regional security and other bilateral issues.” This was the first call between President Trump and PM Imran Khan during the coronavirus pandemic. The two leaders had a bilateral meeting in Davos in January on the sidelines of the Davos Economic Summit. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday gave approval to the launch of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Information Portal, making public the details of disbursements. Chairing a meeting on the subject, the prime minister said the government is making utmost efforts to provide financial assistance to those affected by the situation of coronavirus. He said Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme is transparent and merit-based, and lauded the efforts of his Special Assistant on Social Welfare Dr Sania Nishtar for leading an effective initiative. The dashboard of the launched portal will give details about the number of beneficiaries served in each of the three categories with provincial, district and tehsil wise breakdowns. With great transparency, it will outline the amount given to partnering banks for disbursements to beneficiaries, and the number of beneficiaries who have taken out money. The portal will enable people to access information in real time and its electronic link will be made available Thursday morning. Prime Minister Imran Khan said a strategy is under consideration for ensuring a balance between continuity of trade activities and safety from coronavirus. He said implementation of the standard operating procedures set by the government regarding opening of certain trade entities is the joint responsibility of the government and traders. He said there is a need for simultaneous efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus besides maintaining a cycle of business activity to save the people from financial impacts of lockdown. The prime minister, lauding the spirit of philanthropists during fund-raising for Corona Relief Fund, said Pakistani nation has always braved challenges with steadfastness. He said Pakistani people give generous donations to help the needy affected by the financial impacts of the lockdown. He expressed the confidence that the nation will overcome the challenge of coronavirus with unity and resilience. He called upon the nation to actively participate in the telethon to be aired on Thursday, targeted to raise money for Corona Relief Fund. He urged upon the people to join hands with the government in fighting the challenge of coronavirus. “We have to get united to defeat this challenge effectively,” the prime minister said.