The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $3,00,000 emergency grant to help Bangladesh government for containing the Covid-19 pandemic.The grant will support procurement of health safety materials including personal protective gears, N-95 masks, safety goggles, aprons, thermometers, and biohazard bags.
The list has been prioritised by the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh.
The approval was made by the Manila-based multi-lateral lender on Friday, an ADB release said on Saturday.
The materials will help the government strengthen its efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the country, the lender hoped.
The grant assistance is sourced from the Asian Development Bank Regional Technical Assistance entitled “Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases”.
“ADB is fully committed to supporting Bangladesh in the fight to control COVID-19, and this is only the first of the planned support that ADB is preparing to help the Government deal with this difficult situation,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.This assistance will invigorate Bangladesh’s ability to strengthen prevention, improve health professionals’ protection from the disease, test people to detect infection, manage severe cases, and reduce the risk of the deadly virus’ mass transmission, he added.
“We are working tirelessly to put together further assistance in the health and financial sectors,” Parkash pointed out.
In face of a threat of a Corona virus outbreak, Bangladesh government has taken various actions and adopted measures in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations.
On 18 March 2020, ADB announced a $6.5 billion initial package to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ADB’s previous responses to COVID-19 include $200 million made available through ADB’s Supply Chain Finance Program for companies manufacturing and distributing medicines and other items needed to combat the pandemic.
ADB’s response to date also includes $2 million announced on 7 February to enhance detection, prevention, and response in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Greater Mekong Subregion.
Another $2 million was announced on 26 February to support response in all its developing members.
$18.6 million private sector loan was signed on 25 February for Wuhan, PRC-based pharmaceutical distributor Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. to support the continued supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment.
Another grant of $600,000 was provided to Sri Lanka on 13 March.
ADB has a strong track record of responding rapidly to provide targeted support to Bangladesh in times of emergencies including natural disasters like floods and cyclones and other disasters like influx of people in Cox’s Bazar camps from across Myanmar border.