March 1, 2024, 8:22 pm

Siyam Hoque

2020-03-22 00:04:07 BdST

ADB to support BD in tackling coronavirus outbreak challenge.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support Bangladesh in tackling novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak challenges.

“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,” said a press statement quoting the ADB Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash.

“The government of Bangladesh has requested ADB to provide assistance to help tackle challenges of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the country,” he said.

Mr. Parkash was speaking after discussions with Bangladesh Minister of Finance A H M Mustafa Kamal in the city.

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, said the ADB press release.

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

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 $2.0 million announced on  February 7 to enhance detection, prevention, and response in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Greater Mekong Subregion; another $2.0 million announced on February 26 to support response in all its developing members; and a CNY130 million ($18.6 million) private sector loan, signed on February 25, 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 March 13.

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, according to the ADB press release.

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, it added.

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