Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Solomon Islands Minister of Finance and Treasury and ADB Governor Harry Kuma on Friday discussed how ADB can continue to support the country as it addresses the health risks and economic fallout from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Solomon Islands must be commended for their early, proactive efforts to stop COVID-19 from entering the country,” Mr. Asakawa said. “ADB is providing assistance to Solomon Islands to prepare for any future health emergency and to support the implementation of the country’s Economic Stimulus Package. ADB stands ready to further support the government in coping with this crisis.”

Mr. Kuma said COVID-19 is having a profound impact on Solomon Islands’ exports, the country’s tourism industry, and the broader economy.

“Our Economic Stimulus Package responds to the economic challenges we are facing and will help make our economy more resilient by diversifying investments in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism,” Mr. Kuma said.

ADB yesterday disbursed USD$20 million—comprising a USD$10 million grant and a USD$10 million concessional loan—to help train nurses and doctors in Solomon Islands to fight COVID-19 and obtain personal protective equipment for medical staff. It will also help finance the government’s economic stimulus to support individuals and businesses.

The loan and grant are funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility. CPRO was established as part of ADB’s USD$20 billion expanded assistance for developing members to respond to COVID-19, announced on 13 April.

Prior to disbursing the COVID-19 Rapid Response Program, ADB provided USD$7.8 million ($4.8 million in grants and a $3 million concessional loan) in April this year to help the country’s health sector respond to COVID-19.

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.

Source: ADB News Release