ADB approves USD 600,000 for Maldives virus combat

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced the decision to provide USD 600,00 to help finance the Maldivian government’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

ADB, in a statement on March 25, said it had approved a USD 500,000 grant from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to Maldives to help finance the government’s response to the COVID-19outbreak in the country.

It comes on top of a USD 100,000 technical assistance grant provided by ADB for initial emergency support.

ADB Senior Social Development Specialist Uzma Hoque said the ADB was committed to providing quick and positive responses to its members, especially in times of emergencies.

 “We are in close contact with the government and other development partners of Maldives. We are doing everything possible to provide immediate and effective assistance,” said Hoque.

ADB said it expected the grants to ease the Maldivian government’s immediate financial, logistics, and other constraints to meet immediate relief needs and deliver appropriate medical services where required.

The grants will support the procurement of emergency medical goods and supplies; diagnostic equipment; materials for critical care facilities, including intensive care unit beds; and personal protection and other key medical equipment.

ADB, on March 18, announced an initial package of approximately USD 6.5 billion to address the immediate needs of its developing member nations, including Maldives, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With respect to grants from other international financial institutes, the World Bank has pledged USD 10 million to the COVID-19 emergency relief fund established by the Maldivian government.

The Maldivian government has, however, announced it does not plan on applying for the economic packages offered by International Monetary Fund (IMF) due to it coming with certain conditions such as pay cuts on workers.