ADB approves $3m grant to support Bangladesh against COVID-19

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved additional $3 million as grant assistance for procuring urgently needed medical supplies for emergency response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Bangladesh.

The Government of Japan is financing the grant assistance sourced from the ADB-administered Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, said an ADB press release today.

“The assistance will help alleviate the government’s urgent financial, logistical and other constraints to meet immediate needs and deliver appropriate medical services,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.

He said the grant will finance the procurement of essential medicines, medical equipment and infection control supplies required for COVID-19 emergency response.

“ADB is committed to supporting Bangladesh to minimise the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and help accelerate the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery of the country,” Parkash added.

The new assistance builds on ADB’s previous support of around $603 million in loans and grants to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.

ADB on May 7 approved $500 million loan to bolster the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and the public health.

On April 30, ADB approved a $100 million concessional emergency loan to support Bangladesh’s efforts to address the immediate public health requirements of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

ADB also released a $350,000 emergency grant for the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, and $1.3 million from an existing project to provide one-time cash support to 22,619 trainees to enable them to continue their ongoing skills training programme.

In addition, $231,178 in grant was provided to augment COVID-19 related facilities in 134 urban primary healthcare centers, also called Nogor Swastho Kendro, across the country.

Since February, ADB’s emergency assistance grants to its developing members have helped ensure the supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment.

In April, ADB announced a $20 billion comprehensive response package to help its developing member countries address the immediate and long-term macroeconomic and health impacts of COVID-19 in the region.