ADB vows to support Vietnam’s COVID-19 response

Wednesday, 2020-03-25 10:20:15
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Stores in the Old Quarter of Hanoi have closed in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is ready to provide Vietnam with timely and flexible support for the government’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In its statement on Tuesday (Mar 24), the bank quoted its President Masatsugu Asakawa as saying that ADB stands ready to provide financial assistance and policy advice to help the Government of Vietnam contain the spread of COVID-19.

ADB will consider all options, including quick-disbursing budget support, policy-based lending, and expedited disbursement of existing loans, to ensure all support packages can be approved quickly and disbursed in a timely manner, Asakawa informed, adding that he has discussed options for ADB support in detail with Vietnam’s Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung and Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung.

The Japanese also commended the Vietnamese government for its timely and effective actions to combat the pandemic, welcoming the government’s focus on maintaining economic stability and growth in the medium and long-term, including through expanding public investment expenditure and strengthening social safety nets for poor and vulnerable households.

Earlier, on March 18, ADB announced a US$6.5 billion initial package to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries, including Vietnam, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial package includes approximately US$3.6 billion in sovereign operations for a range of responses to the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, and US$1.6 billion in non-sovereign operations for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, domestic and regional trade, and firms that have been directly impacted. ADB will also mobilise about US$1 billion in concessional resources through reallocations from ongoing projects and assessing possible needs for contingencies, as well as making available US$40 million in technical assistance and quick-disbursing grants. Asakawa informed that ADB would provide additional support as needed.

Since its first COVID-19 response on February 7, ADB has provided over US$225 million to meet the urgent needs of both governments and businesses in developing member countries.