ADB Approves COVID Loan
To help finance the US$769 million (K2.69bil) pandemic response of the government that included an economic stimulus package, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US $250 million (K876.59 mil) loan.
“The Covid-19 has had a devastating health, social, and economic impact on PNG,” said ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa. “The ADB is committed to supporting the government in responding to this pandemic. These funds will help in containing the health and economic impact of the pandemic by strengthening the country’s health sector and providing much-needed budgetary support for revitalising the economy.”
The programme will help PNG strengthen its health system by building temporary isolation facilities for infected patients, rapidly purchasing test kits and PPEs, enhancing water supply for schools and hospitals, and training the frontline workers.
The programme also provides food security and social assistance, including assistance to rural producers and small businesses - loans for businesses, support to buy seedlings for 10,000 poor rural households and smallholder farmers, hygiene improvements in local markets for trading to flourish.
After international health authorities announced a pandemic alert, PNG declared a state of emergency on March 21, closing borders and enforcing lockdowns that have affected the economy.