ADB’s $100 Million Grant to Help Afghanistan Heal from COVID-19

Video | 4 December 2020

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $100 million grant to help the Government of Afghanistan respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will support government measures to scale up the capacity of its medical facilities and extend its targeted social safety nets. It will also support the implementation of stabilization measures covering state-owned enterprises, job creation in the agriculture sector, and MSMEs.

Transcript

Rising COVID-19 cases have put pressures on Afghanistan’s inadequate health care system.

The economy has deteriorated due to business lockdowns, drop in incomes, and a downturn in trade and remittances.

The pandemic has created large-scale unemployment.

Poverty, malnutrition and inequalities have been aggravated nationwide.

The government rolled out a pandemic response, comprising health, social protection, and macroeconomic stabilization measures.

ADB is providing a new budget support grant of $100 million to help Afghanistan implement these measures.

The grant will scale up the capacity of medical facilities, availability of medical supplies and public awareness on COVID-19.

The social assistance will target the poor and vulnerable with a strong gender focus, providing nationwide daily bread assistance, water and electricity bill coverage for households in Kabul, one-time cash transfers to internally-displaced persons and refugees, remuneration for the disabled and families of those killed in conflict, and coverage of old-age pensioners and their female heirs.

By targeting state-owned enterprises, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and job creation in the agriculture sector, ADB’s grant will help heal Afghanistan’s economy.