The Asian Development Bank has approved $20 million to help Solomon Islands combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its impact on the country’s economy.

The support comprises a $10 million concessional loan and a $10 million grant and will go toward preventing the disease from entering the country and for mitigating the economic impacts, including protecting the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, especially women.

The loan and grant are 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’ COVID-19 response.


Solomon Islands is free of COVID-19

But ADB is helping the country to prepare if that picture changes

ADB has approved a $20m program to help train nurses and doctors

That financing will particularly help women

Pauline McNeil, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Medical Services:

With the health sector, our respondents and officers in charge of some of our work in preparedness are mostly women. If we look at the surveillance team that’s headed by a woman, if we look at the triage it’s headed by Dr Trina, we look at the isolation it’s headed by Dr Carol. So we have women who are in the frontline.

ADB’S program will also help finance the government’s economic stimulus package.

The stimulus will put capital into SOEs, like Soltuna and Solomon Airlines who both employ large numbes of women

ADB has also provided Solomon Islands with $6m in contingent disaster financing.

That will help to mobilize resources quickly—especially for health and medical services.

Harry Yuma, Minister of Finance:

ADB’s rapid response to the government needs in terms of finance was really flexible and quick and came at the right time when we really needed that assistance because earlier this year we had difficulty economically. And that support came in right at the time we were preparing for the impact of COVID-19

ADB is committed to its partnership with Solomon Islands

And overcoming the impact of COVID-19 on its economy and people