MANILA, PHILIPPINES (31 March 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $450 million loan to Indonesia to help Bio Farma, a state-owned vaccine supplier, procure and deliver safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Responsive COVID-19 Vaccines for Recovery (RECOVER) project will fund the purchase of at least 65 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for priority groups determined by the Indonesian government. The project is supported by ADB’s $9 billion Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX), which was launched in December 2020 to offer rapid and equitable vaccine-related support to ADB developing members.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Indonesians. The RECOVER project will help the government protect lives and restore livelihoods,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “It will help immunize millions of socially and economically vulnerable people at high risk of transmission, as well as public service officers providing critical services. ADB will also help the government and Bio Farma improve logistics management and deliver vaccines more effectively.”
For a vaccine to be eligible for APVAX financing, it must meet one of three criteria. It must be procured via the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), prequalified by the World Health Organization, or authorized by a Stringent Regulatory Authority.
The Indonesian government aims to vaccinate 181.5 million people against COVID-19 in one of the world’s biggest vaccination campaigns. Indonesia recorded more than 1.5 million COVID-19 cases and 40,000 deaths as of 30 March. The pandemic has significantly affected livelihoods, especially among the poor and vulnerable. About 30 million people in Indonesia have lost jobs or have been forced to cut working hours, resulting in an increase in poverty.
The RECOVER project follows earlier ADB assistance to help Indonesia address the challenges posed by the pandemic. This includes a $3 million Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund grant approved in April 2020 to help the Ministry of Health deliver critical medical equipment and supplies; and a $1.5 billion COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure (CARES) Program loan as budget support for urgent public health, social, and economic assistance. The CARES Program is cofinanced by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, German development cooperation through KfW, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. ADB has also provided knowledge support for pandemic response options and vaccine deployment strategies.
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.