ADB Triples Pandemic Response to US$20 billion

AKP Phnom Penh, April 14, 2020 —

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has tripled its response to COVID-19 to US$20 billion and approved faster and more flexible aid delivery.

“This pandemic threatens to severely set back economic, social, and development gains,” ADB President H.E. Masatsugu Asakawa said in a statement released in Manila Monday.

H.E. Masatsugu Asakawa said COVID-19 would also “reverse progress on poverty reduction, and throw economies into recession.”

The expanded package will be delivered “more quickly, flexibly, and forcefully” to the public and private sectors to address “urgent challenges in tackling the pandemic and economic downturn,” H.E. Masatsugu Asakawa said.

Up to US$13 billion will be provided to governments to carry out “countercyclical expenditure programmes” to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, the statement said.

Such spending will have a “particular focus on the poor and the vulnerable,” it added.

Grants will meanwhile provide medical and personal protective equipment and supplies.

The bank said concessional loans and grants amounted to US$2.5 billion of the enlarged package while US$2 billion was earmarked for the private sector.

“Loans and guarantees will be provided to financial institutions to rejuvenate trade and supply chains,” the statement said.

The bank will also offer guarantees for microfinance loans and aid to “liquidity-starved small and medium-sized enterprises” including those run by women.

In addition, the ADB will provide “direct financing of companies,” the statement said.

ADB— Cambodia’s largest multilateral development partner — announced its initial US$6.5 billion response to the pandemic on Mar. 18.

By Sao Da