ADB President, Maldives Finance Minister Discuss COVID-19 Response
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (1 July 2020) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Maldives Finance Minister and ADB Governor Ibrahim Ameer today discussed ADB’s support to the country in mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mr. Asakawa commended the government’s recent fiscal reform measures and its commitment to macroeconomic stability, sustained growth, and debt consolidation. He also welcomed the government’s actions in implementing a comprehensive COVID-19 response package to counter the pandemic’s severe impact on public health and the economy.
“ADB is committed to supporting Maldives in these most challenging times,” said Mr. Asakawa. “On 25 June, ADB approved a quick-disbursing $50 million budget support package for Maldives comprising a $25 million grant and a $25 million concessional loan. We will work closely with the government to help effectively implement its COVID-19 response package.”
Mr. Ameer thanked ADB for its support, which will help mitigate the adverse socioeconomic and health impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the COVID-19-related disruption in tourism activities will lead to a sharp contraction of the economy and cause higher fiscal stress in 2020. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to maintain macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, while mobilizing further concessional assistance from its development partners.
The government’s social protection package is helping communities that have been rendered vulnerable because of the pandemic, while the economic component aims to assist the self-employed and small businesses, manufacturers, traders, tour operators, guest houses, and resorts.
To support effective monitoring, evaluation, institutional strengthening, and mid- to long-term road mapping of further administrative reforms, ADB is providing a technical assistance of $500,000 as part of the package.
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. These grants have funded the purchase of urgently needed personal protective equipment to enable medical personnel to safely treat infected patients, and medical equipment to be installed in health facilities.
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.