MANILA, PHILIPPINES (30 April 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $100 million loan to support the Government of Bangladesh in its efforts to address the immediate public health requirements of combatting the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“ADB stands with Bangladesh in this difficult time when the COVID-19 pandemic challenges the country’s recent successes in its socioeconomic development,” said ADB Vice-President Shixin Chen. “This project will help strengthen Bangladesh’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak by providing urgently needed health equipment, medical supplies, diagnostic systems, and upgrading of the capacity of the health workforce.”

The COVID-19 Response Emergency Assistance Project will support the immediate procurement of equipment and supplies for testing; upgrade of medical infrastructure; and the development of system and community capacities for surveillance, prevention, and response to the pandemic in Bangladesh.

The project will equip 17 medical college hospitals with isolation and critical care units. Capacity and quality of at least 19 laboratories will be upgraded with COVID-19 microbiological diagnostic facilities. At least 3,500 health sector workers, about 50% of whom are women, will be trained in modern skills and knowledge, and the recruitment of more health professionals and technical staff will be supported.

ADB has a strong track record of responding rapidly to provide targeted support to Bangladesh in times of emergencies. As an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ADB has 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 program. Additional grant assistance is also being explored to support the purchase of urgently needed medical supplies.

On 13 April, ADB tripled the size of its initial response to COVID-19 to $20 billion and approved measures to streamline its operations for quicker and more flexible delivery of assistance to help its developing member countries counter the severe macroeconomic and health impacts caused by the pandemic. ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice. Visit ADB’s website to learn more about our ongoing response.

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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