ADB announces $6.5-B initial response to Covid-19 pandemic

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Wednesday announced a USD6.5-billion initial package to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries (DMCs) as they respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) 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.

Based on close dialogue with members and peer institutions, Asakawa said the ADB is deploying the rescue package to meet the immediate needs of its members.

“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,” he added.

The initial package includes about USD3.6 billion in sovereign operations for a range of responses to the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, and USD1.6 billion in non-sovereign operations for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, domestic and regional trade, and firms directly impacted.

ADB will mobilize about USD1 billion in concessional resources through reallocations from ongoing projects and assessing possible needs for contingencies.

It will also make available USD40 million in technical assistance and quick-disbursing grants.

“ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice down the road whenever the situation warrants, on top of the USD6.5 billion package,” Asakawa said.

Since its first Covid-19 response on Feb. 7, 2020, ADB has already provided more than USD225 million to meet urgent needs of both governments and businesses in DMCs.

Source: Philippines News Agency