ADB Working with Cook Islands to Overcome COVID-19

Video | 25 November 2020

The Cook Islands is thankfully free of COVID-19 but the risk posed by the pandemic to the country’s health services is immense.

The closure of the country’s borders has also had a deeply negative impact on the country’s economy.

To assist the country over this period, ADB has approved a $20 million loan which will help the government’s economic response.

The loan will cover employment support payments to keep workers employed; one-off cash payments for families, the elderly, caregivers, and infirmed; ongoing interest and credit relief for households and businesses; support to the health sector; and business grants.

The loan is funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility, part of ADB’s $20 billion expanded assistance for developing member countries’ COVID-19 response.

Transcript

Cook Islands is free of COVID-19.

But ADB is still providing critical support

A $20 million loan will boost the government’s economic response,  with training and support for frontline health workers, safeguards for worker salaries, grants for businesses and relief from interest on loans, plus support for the elderly and vulnerable.

Mark Brown, Prime Minister

I think the fast response by the Asian Development Bank has been tremendous in enabling the government to push out the support mechanisms required to keep our businesses afloat, to keep people employed, although on a wage subsidy, but also to provide confidence and hope in the future that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And that we can get through this, provided we all work together as a country and as a people.

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