KOROR, PALAU (6 August 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Palau today signed grant agreements for an ADB-supported project which aims to address the needs of poor and vulnerable groups in Palau affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The $3.71 million project is funded by a $766,442 grant from the Asian Development Fund 13 thematic pool. The Government of Japan is providing $2.4 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and the Ireland Trust Fund is contributing $550,000.

Palau’s Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Kaleb Udui, Jr. and ADB Pacific Department Deputy Director General Emma Veve signed both grant agreements for the Palau COVID-19 Response for Affected Poor and Vulnerable Groups project. Japan’s Ambassador to Palau Akira Karasawa witnessed the event.

"The prolonged duration of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a strain on the republic and its citizens. The impact on the economy, government finances, and our people are significant. The impact has been particularly hard on the vulnerable population. Palau has fared better than others due to the strong support of its partners. This project illustrates the strong relationship that has helped Palau weather the pandemic and adapt to the modern reality of climate change in our lives. Our sincere appreciation cannot be expressed strongly enough to the ADB, Japan, and Ireland for this support,” said Mr. Udui, Jr.

The project will roll out welfare support to older people and persons with disabilities, deliver food security and income-generating support to agricultural producers, and implement multidisciplinary responses to address family and gender-based violence.

“While Palau remains COVID-19 free, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the country’s economy, and groups such as the elderly, the poor, agricultural producers, and victims of gender-based violence have been disproportionately affected,” Ms. Veve said. “This project will help these vulnerable groups better manage the pandemic and build social and economic resilience.”

There are an estimated 1,650 direct beneficiaries from the project, apart from the 1,400 frontline workers who will be trained on gender-based violence referral pathways, and a gender-based prevention campaign covering at least 12,000 people.

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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