Bank invests $18.5 billion in coronavirus response
The Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) is investing US$6.5 billion (T$18.5 billion) into developing member countries' responses to the coronavirus pandemic, in an “initial” spending package for vulnerable populations and economies.
The package includes $3.6 billion for Governments' responses to the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, and $1.6 billion for small businesses and trade who have been hit by its effects.
A further $1 billion has been set aside for concessional resources, like reallocating resources from ongoing projects, and $40 million for technical assistance and rapidly available grants.
The A.D.B is looking to its Board to streamline the financing processes and make access to budget support, lending and procurement faster for the developing countries.
“This pandemic has become a major global crisis. It requires forceful action at national, regional, and global levels,” said President Masatsugu Asakawa.
“With our developing member countries, we are formulating an aggressive set of actions to combat the pandemic; to protect the poor, the vulnerable, and wider populations across the region; and to ensure economies will rebound as swiftly as possible.”
On the 26 February a second grant window was established with an initial $2 million allocation to help developing countries contain the coronavirus and improve their resilience to the disease. Additional financing is being mobilised for this grant window.
Last week $200 million was made available through the A.D.B.’s Supply Chain Finance Program for companies manufacturing and distributing medicines and other items needed to combat the virus.
Through its partner financial institutions, A.D.B. can provide essential working capital to such companies.
A.D.B.’s Senior External Relations Officer, Sallyanne Shute-Trembath, said more information will be made available about how the funding will be allocated in the Pacific.
The Bank's partners include: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, regional development banks, the World Health Organisation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other civil society and Government organisations.