ADB’s $14 Million Grant to Support FSM’s COVID-19 Response

Video | 13 November 2020

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is further supporting the Federated States of Micronesia’s COVID-19 response through a grant of $14 million.

The grant will help fund the FSM Health Expenditure and Livelihoods Support (HEALS) Program, which will support the government’s Health Action Plan through activities such as building quarantine facilities, providing infection prevention training for first responders, increasing local laboratory testing, and supplying essential medical equipment.

The FSM HEALS Program will also provide financial support, including wage subsidies and tax rebates for the 186 tourism businesses that have been hit hard by the threat of the pandemic. The FSM Development Bank will provide loans to at least 200 micro- and small-enterprises, half of which will be allocated to women-owned businesses. Temporary unemployment assistance will be given to an estimated 100 migrant workers who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. 

The grant 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 members to respond to COVID-19, announced on 13 April. Visit ADB’s website (https://www.adb.org/what-we-do/covid19-coronavirus)  to learn more about its ongoing response.

This is ADB’s second grant to the FSM to combat the impacts of COVID-19, following a grant of $6 million in April.

Transcript

Federated States of Micronesia

Eugene Amor, Secretary of Finance:

We’re very fortunate to remain COVID free. But this has come at a huge cost on the economy and the livelihood of our people. We’ve had almost 1,000 jobs lost or affected. The businesses are closing down, particularly the tourism sector. And across all sectors of the economy, there’s a major slowdown in economic activity.

ADB is now assisting FSM with a grant of $14 million.

Eugene Amor, Secretary of Finance:

We want to increase our health response capacity. So some of this funding will go toward training of our frontline workers, procurement of protective equipment, needed pharmaceuticals, as well as support to quarantine facilities’ operations.

ADB’s support will also help FSM’s economy to keep moving.

Eugene Amor, Secretary of Finance:

A big portion of this ADB assistance is going toward providing some relief to the tourism sector, as well as we’re putting $3 million into the development bank for interest free loans to support small and micro businesses. 50 percent of that is earmarked for women in business to also support our agenda of empowering women in this nation. We’re also doing a $5 million cash transfer program to the households that do not have formal income channels, the farmers, the fishermen, those that sell their produce to the hotels, restaurants that are also greatly impacted.

ADB is committed to the people of FSM and helping to recover from the impact of COVID-19.