MANILA, PHILIPPINES (21 July 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $2 million grant for Bhutan from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF) to help finance the government’s emergency response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“ADB is fully committed to supporting Bhutan at this crucial time. This grant will enable the government to continue its containment measures, strengthen health care efforts, and extend social protection program during the crisis,” said ADB’s Unit Head for Project Administration M. Shahadat Russell. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a serious public health issue. ADB will work closely with the government and other development partners to help ensure a coordinated and effective response.”

The grant, which is financed by the Government of Japan, will help alleviate the immediate financial, logistical, and other challenges that the government is facing. In particular, the grant will be used for the procurement of test kits and reagents, personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical goods and supplies, and laboratory equipment. The grant will also be used to fund transport and supply chain logistical expenses.

The current grant supplements ADB’s earlier $1.17 million emergency assistance for the procurement of medical supplies and PPEs. ADB also approved a $20 million budget support loan for Bhutan to help the government implement its Economic Contingency Plan. Furthermore, under the ongoing ADB Health Sector Development Program, $400,000 worth of medical supply packages are being procured to strengthen the country’s capacity for COVID-19 response.

ADB’s 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’ pandemic response, which was announced on 13 April. 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.

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