The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is committed to raising the loan budget to Indonesia from last year worth of US$1.7 billion to $2.7 billion - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is committed to raising the loan budget to Indonesia from last year worth of US$ 1.7 billion to $2.7 billion, said the president early this week. The Fund also approved a further $2 million to help Asia Pacific’ developing countries to overcome COVID-19 and improve resilience to this and other communicable diseases.

This was conveyed by ADB’ president Masatsugu Asakawa during a visit to Indonesia. According to him, around $500 million will distributes for financial inclusion, another $500 million for competitiveness programs, and the rest to other projects. In the meeting with President Joko Widodo, he offered support for Indonesian development priorities, such as human capital, infrastructure connectivity and climate change.

On the coronavirus outbreak, the funds will be available for all ADB developing member countries in updating and implementing their pandemic response plans, including buying emergency supplies and equipment assessing health system and economic impacts to improve future resilience.

Also coordinating better regionally to prevent, detect, and respond to animal and human disease outbreaks. The work will be conducted in close collaboration with the World Health Organization.

“The severity of the COVID-19 outbreak is escalating, and past disease outbreaks have had large impacts on social and economic development,” said ADB VP Bambang Susantono.

He continued, “ADB funding will help countries catalyze efforts to mitigate further damage to the health of families and economies and position them to better respond to the current and future outbreaks.”

Earlier in February, ADB has provided $2 million in funds to strengthen the immediate response capacity in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Over the longer term, this can be scaled up to focus on supporting pandemic preparedness and building resilience.

ADB also provided a private sector loan of up to RMB130 million ($18.6 million) to Wuhan, China-based Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. to enhance the distribution and supply of essential medicines and protective equipment.

Past epidemics have shown that impacts can rapidly extend to all areas of a country’ economy, triggering fiscal shocks with long-term negative consequences that threaten stability and economic growth. Countries and businesses that rely on tourism are particularly vulnerable. Trade and supply chains also suffer.

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