MANILA, PHILIPPINES (4 May 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $50 million in loan and grant financing to help the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic mitigate the significant negative health, social, and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Delivered under ADB’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) program, the funds will support the government’s immediate priorities to contain the spread of the pandemic, ensure social protection for vulnerable segments of society, and deliver a pro-poor fiscal stimulus to safeguard small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the economy’s productive sectors.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 is an extraordinary, multi-dimensional challenge for the Kyrgyz Republic,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “The CARES Program is part of a comprehensive and integrated package of support to the Kyrgyz Republic, which will focus on helping to address the government’s immediate needs, while laying the groundwork for structural reforms to improve the country’s ability to deal with exogenous shocks in the future.”

The Kyrgyz Republic will also benefit from ADB’s forthcoming regional technical assistance to address health threats including COVID-19 in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) region. The assistance will support solutions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen health systems to better prepare for potential future outbreaks.

On 24 March, the Kyrgyz Republic declared a state of emergency and initiated measures to prevent further spread of the pandemic, including border closures and restrictions, restrictions on movements, and temporary closure of businesses. The pandemic has led to widespread job losses, particularly in industry and the service sector, which together account for 70% of all employment.

Among the 1.8 million people identified by the government as particularly vulnerable to the pandemic, around 22% are women-headed households who will need direct social protection during the economic downturn. Women are also overrepresented in the health and services sectors, at 87% and almost 60% respectively, and make up around 30% of the country’s SME owners and employees.

ADB is working closely with the government to ensure that its social protection measures proactively benefit women and girls. This includes food packages for vulnerable, women-led families and accelerated procurement of products from SMEs that employ a significant number of women.

Developed in close consultation with the International Monetary Fund and other development partners, ADB’s CARES Program will complement cooperation efforts to contain the pandemic in the CAREC region.

The package consists of a $25 million concessional loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and a $25 million grant from the Asian Development Fund. It is funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility. CPRO was established as part of ADB’s $20 billion expanded assistance for developing member countries’ COVID-19 response, which was announced on 13 April. Visit ADB’s website to learn more about our ongoing response.

Last month, ADB approved $200,000 in emergency medical assistance to help the Kyrgyz Republic procure medical supplies and equipment through UNICEF. ADB is undertaking a joint study with the United Nations Development Programme on the impact of COVID-19 on poor and vulnerable communities.

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.

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