ADB Initiates Coronavirus Response

News Release | 7 February 2020

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (7 February 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved $2 million in new funding to support efforts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (nCoV).

The funds will supplement an ongoing regional technical assistance and strengthen response capacity in Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The assistance will fund the development of recommendations for improved outbreak investigation and surveillance, including in rural areas, and the strengthening of health systems’ resilience and capacity for epidemic response. It will support the supply of diagnostic and laboratory equipment for rapid testing to help combat the outbreak.

“ADB has a track record of providing rapid and targeted support to our members in emergency situations,” said ADB President Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa. “We stand ready to provide further assistance as required.”

ADB is collaborating closely with World Health Organization officials and other regional experts to identify areas for coordinated responses and possible further financial assistance to respond to the 2019-nCoV situation.

Additional technical assistance is under preparation to help other developing member countries improve key economic and health systems, including disease surveillance, provision of medical supplies, outbreak response plans, and regional cooperation. Where needed, support may include the procurement of medicines and medical equipment. Other activities may include economic and health system assessments to improve understanding of the economic impacts and the design of appropriate response measures.

ADB’s economists are looking at the impact that the virus could have on the region’s economies, including through channels such as tourism, consumption, trade, and supply chains.

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.