ADB President, Fiji Attorney-General Discuss Support for COVID-19 Response

News Release | 3 April 2020

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (3 April 2020) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum have discussed how ADB can support Fiji in its fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“ADB is committed to helping Fiji combat the impact of this damaging pandemic,” Mr. Asakawa said. “We will consider all options, including policy-based lending, that can be approved and disbursed in a timely manner.”

During the discussion, Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum stressed that the impact of a coronavirus-driven economic collapse in Fiji's major international source markets for trade, manufacturing, tourism, and the aviation industry––compounded with disruptions to global supply chains––was already proving detrimental to the Fijian economy.

Fiji and other small island developing states are facing a critical challenge to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their people and economies. “Developing economies will be hardest hit by the coronavirus-driven collapse of the world economy. This crisis demands an unprecedented multilateral response––and we’re encouraged by ADB’s willingness to support Fiji in responding to and recovering from this pandemic,” said Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum.

The Government of Fiji has requested a $200 million (460 million Fijian dollars) policy-based loan as part of subprogram 3 of the ongoing ADB-supported Sustained Private Sector-Led Growth Reform Program. Part of the proposed loan would help fund Fiji’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The request will be considered by ADB’s Board of Directors in the coming months.

On 18 March, ADB announced an initial package of approximately $6.5 billion to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries, including Fiji, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice whenever the situation warrants. 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.