ADB to support BD in facing challenges of Corona outbreak

Published : 21 Mar 2020 08:33 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 07:21 AM

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support Bangladesh in tackling novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak challenges, said Manmohan Parkash, ADB Country Director for Bangladesh.

Parkash was speaking after discussions with Bangladesh Minister of Finance A H M Mustafa Kamal in Dhaka. The discussions included the Government’s preparedness for mitigating any potential outbreak, its economic impact, and possible ADB support following a Government request for assistance.   

“The government of Bangladesh has requested ADB to provide assistance to help tackle challenges of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the country,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash. “As a long-standing development partner, ADB is committed to assist Bangladesh in this difficult time.” “We have initiated the process of quickly exploring the financing modality and other details in close coordination with the Government and other stakeholders,” Country Director Mr. Parkash added.

The global public health emergency, which has been characterized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, calls for urgent measures to respond to the disease as well as tackling its economic fallouts.

ADB has recently announced $6.5 billion initial package to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. ADB’s previous responses to COVID-19 include $200 million made available through ADB’s Supply Chain Finance Program for companies manufacturing and distributing medicines and other items needed to combat the pandemic. ADB’s response to date also includes $2 million announced on 7 February to enhance detection, prevention, and response in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Greater Mekong Subregion; another $2 million announced on 26 February to support response in all its developing members; and a CNY130 million ($18.6 million) private sector loan, signed on 25 February, to Wuhan, PRC-based pharmaceutical distributor Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. to support the continued supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment. Another grant of $600,000 was provided to Sri Lanka on 13 March. 

ADB has a strong track record of responding rapidly to provide targeted support to Bangladesh in times of emergencies including natural disasters like floods and cyclones and other disasters like influx of people in Cox’s Bazar camps from across Myanmar border. 

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.