Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a total of USD 4 million (about Rs 29 crore) to help developing countries in Asia and Pacific to fight the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Manila-headquartered multilateral funding agency had earlier in February announced USD 2 million for fighting the disease and approved another USD 2 million in late February.
The Asian Development Bank has approved a further USD 2 million to help developing countries in Asia and the Pacific contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and improve resilience to this and other communicable diseases, it said in a release last week.
The funds will be available for all ADB developing member countries in updating and implementing their pandemic response plans.
ADB said the assistance will be for purposes including buying emergency supplies and equipment, assessing health system and economic impacts to improve future resilience, and coordinating better regionally to prevent, detect, and respond to animal and human disease outbreaks.
The work will be conducted in close collaboration with the World Health Organization.
ADB’s funding will help countries catalyze efforts to mitigate further damage to the health of families and economies and position them to better respond to the current and future outbreaks.
The first tranche assistance was to strengthen the immediate response capacity in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
ADB also provided a private sector loan of up to CNY130 million (USD 18.6 million) to Wuhan, PRC-based Join town Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd to enhance the distribution and supply of essential medicines and protective equipment.