A.D.B. gives $1.5 million grant to combat COVID-19

The Government has signed documentation to access a $1.5 million grant from the Asian Development Bank [A.D.B.] to help fund the country’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A statement released by the A.D.B. stated that the Minister of Finance and A.D.B. Governor, Sili Epa Tuioti signed the agreement on Thursday at the Ministry of Finance in Apia.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Senior Country Coordination Officer from the A.D.B. Samoa Pacific Country Office, Maria Melei and the Apia-based Deputy Head of the Embassy of Japan, Kishi Isao.

The A.D.B. Regional Director of the Pacific Subregional Office, Masayuki Tachiiri, said in a statement that Samoa’s tourism-dependent economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and the country’s health systems are under pressure

“This grant, along with assistance from Japan, will help Samoa’s health systems respond to this public health emergency," he said 

According to Sili, the assistance from A.D.B. came at the right time and will strengthen Samoa's health system, following the aftermath of last year's measles epidemic and it will contain and mitigate the threat of COVID-19.  

The grant comes courtesy of the A.D.B. Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (A.P.D.R.F.) and follows a $75 million contribution to the fund from the Government of Japan. 

The grant is part of a $13.3 million emergency grant package from the A.P.D.R.F. to help 10 A.D.B. developing members in the Pacific – the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu – respond to COVID-19.

Counsellor Kishi said he hopes that the grant offered by Japan will serve in facilitating response to COVID-19. 

This is the third grant to Samoa from the A.D.B. to combat the impact of COVID-19, following the awarding of grants of $20 million in July and $2.9 million in April.

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