ADB announces $6.5 billion in response to coronavirus pandemic

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2020-03-18 17:00:33 BdST

A worker sprays disinfectant at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), which is closed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak spreading in Jakarta, Indonesia, Mar 18, 2020. REUTERS

The Asian Development Bank has announced a $6.5 billion initial package to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries as they respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"This pandemic has become a major global crisis. It requires forceful action at national, regional, and global levels,” ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said in a statement on Wednesday.

“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. Based on close dialogue with our members and peer institutions, we are deploying this $6.5 billion rescue package to meet the immediate needs of our members.”

Asawaka said: “ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice down the road whenever the situation warrants, on top of the $6.5 billion package.”

The initial package includes approximately $3.6 billion in sovereign operations for a range of responses to the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, and $1.6 billion in non-sovereign operations for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, domestic and regional trade, and firms directly impacted.

ADB will also mobilise about $1 billion in concessional resources through reallocations from ongoing projects and assessing possible needs for contingencies. ADB will make available $40 million in technical assistance and quick-disbursing grants.

Since its first COVID-19 response on Feb 7, ADB has provided more than $225 million to meet urgent needs of both governments and businesses in member countries.