MANILA, PHILIPPINES (20 May 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Tonga and Tuvalu have signed separate grant agreements to support the rollout of safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
A $5.5 million grant agreement with Tonga was signed by Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Tevita Lavemaau and ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez. A $1.5 million grant agreement with Tuvalu was signed by ADB Executive Director Tony McDonald on behalf of the Government of Tuvalu and Ms. Gutierrez.
“These grants will help fund implementation of the national COVID-19 vaccine deployment plans in Tonga and Tuvalu. Effective implementation of these plans will be critical to enabling the gradual reopening of borders and the revival of these economies,” Ms. Gutierrez said.
The grants will be provided as additional financing to the ADB-supported Systems Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccines in the Pacific Project. The project provides an established platform to safely introduce COVID-19 vaccines in the countries, strengthen health systems, and raise community awareness.
ADB is working with the governments of Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu on the preparation of vaccine rollout plans to ensure fair and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and promote more rapid recovery from the pandemic.
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.