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ADB announces $6.5bn package to help Vietnam, developing member countries cope with COVID-19

Friday, March 20, 2020, 12:09 GMT+7
ADB announces $6.5bn package to help Vietnam, developing member countries cope with COVID-19
Trucks form a line at a border gate along the Vietnam-China border. Photo: Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it will provide funds totaling US$6.5 billion for Vietnam other developing member countries respond to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Vietnam Government Portal.   

The ADB announced a $6.5 billion initial response package “to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries as they respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic,” the bank said in a press release on Thursday.

"This pandemic has become a major global crisis,” ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa was quoted as saying in the news release.

“It requires forceful action at national, regional, and global levels.  

“With our developing member countries, we are formulating an aggressive set of actions to combat the pandemic; to protect the poor, the vulnerable, and wider populations across the region; and to ensure economies will rebound as swiftly as possible.

“Based on close dialogue with our members and peer institutions, we are deploying this $6.5 billion rescue package to meet the immediate needs of our members.”

The bank is ready to supply more financial assistance and policy advice in due course, Asakawa noted.

The initial package includes about $3.6 billion in sovereign operations for responses to the health and economic consequences caused by the pandemic, and $1.6 billion in nonsovereign operations for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, domestic and regional trade, and firms directly impacted.

The ADB will also mobilize roughly $1 billion in concessional resources through reallocations from ongoing projects and assessing possible needs for contingencies, while making available $40 million in technical assistance and quick-disbursing grants.

The pandemic demands a coordinated response and strong collaboration among countries and organizations, the bank remarked.

Since its first COVID-19 response on February 2, the ADB has already provided more than $225 million to support governments and businesses in its developing member countries.

Vietnam has confirmed 85 COVID-19 cases so far, with 16 having recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.

One more patient walked out of the hospital free of the virus on Friday.

Vietnam treats local patients gratis while charging foreigners a fee for their treatment, although they are exempt from testing and quarantine expenses.

The country is welcoming droves of overseas Vietnamese returnees from other countries, including the UK and other European nations, at a time when authorities are trying their utmost to trace and isolate patients and their contacts to staunch COVID-19 spread.

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Viet Toan / Tuoi Tre News


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