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Business & Finance

ADB announces $20bn COVID-19 response package for developing Asian countries

The package expands ADB’s $6.5 billion initial response announced on 18 March, adding $13.5 billion in resources to
13 Apr 2020
  • The package expands ADB’s $6.5 billion initial response announced on 18 March, adding $13.5 billion in resources to help ADB’s developing member countries.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday announced to triple the size of its response to the novel coronavirus pandemic to $20 billion to help developing Asian countries in combating this virus.

The package expands ADB’s $6.5 billion initial response announced on 18 March, adding $13.5 billion in resources to help ADB’s developing member countries counter the severe macroeconomic and health impacts caused by COVID-19. The $20 billion package includes about $2.5 billion in concessional and grant resources.

“This pandemic threatens to severely set back economic, social, and development gains in Asia and the Pacific, reverse progress on poverty reduction, and throw economies into recession,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, in a statement.

“Our expanded and comprehensive package of assistance, made possible with the strong support of our Board, will be delivered more quickly, flexibly, and forcefully to the governments and the private sector in our developing member countries to help them address the urgent challenges in tackling the pandemic and economic downturn.”

ADB’s most recent assessment estimates the global impact of the pandemic at between 2.3 percent and 4.8pc of gross domestic product. Regional growth is forecast to decline from 5.2pc last year to 2.2pc in 2020.

The new package includes the establishment of a COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility. Up to $13 billion will be provided through this new option to help governments of developing member countries implement effective countercyclical expenditure programs to mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on the poor and the vulnerable.

Grant resources will continue to be deployed quickly for providing medical and personal protective equipment and supplies from expanded procurement sources.

Some $2 billion from the $20 billion package will be made available for the private sector.