MANILA, PHILIPPINES (25 June 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $25 million concessional loan and a $25 million grant to help the Government of Maldives fund its response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“ADB is strongly committed to assisting Maldives in mitigating the adverse socioeconomic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “We will provide critically needed budget support to help the government undertake its health, social, and economic responses, which are essential to strengthen the country’s public health systems, support the poor and vulnerable groups, and provide economic support for affected businesses.”
The COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program 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.
The CARES Program for Maldives will help implement the government’s COVID-19 health response measures through actions, such as setting up COVID-19 testing facilities in 5 regional hospitals across 5 zones, scaling up of testing capacity to 800 tests per day, providing at least 400 isolation beds in separate wards for men and women, and at least 200 critical care beds for COVID-19 treatment.
ADB’s financing will support the government in carrying out its social protection program, which includes unemployment allowances to salaried employees and self-employed workers whose incomes are affected by job or work loss, and other social assistance to the vulnerable population. It will also help the government in providing economic assistance to the self-employed and businesses with subsidized and collateral-free working capital loans during the crisis period.
To support the CARES Program’s implementation and help build the government’s capacity in monitoring and evaluating the activities under its COVID-19 response package, ADB is providing a $500,000 grant for technical assistance.
ADB has separately approved a $500,000 grant from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund and $798,000 of grant funding from the Technical Assistance for Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of COVID-19 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases for Maldives to procure medical supplies, in close collaboration with UNICEF. This grant has funded the purchase of urgently needed personal protective equipment to enable medical personnel to safely treat infected patients.
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.