Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa has assured Indian Finance Minister and ADB Governor Nirmala Sitharaman of ADB’s support to India in its fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a call, Mr. Asakawa commended the Indian government’s decisive response to the pandemic, including a national health emergency program, tax and other relief measures provided to businesses, and a $23 billion economic relief package announced on 26 March to provide immediate income and consumption support to the poor, women, and workers affected by the three-week nationwide lockdown.
“ADB is committed to supporting India’s emergency needs. We are now preparing $2.2 billion in immediate assistance to the health sector and to help alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic on the poor; informal workers; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; and the financial sector,” Mr. Asakawa said. “ADB assistance for India will be further increased if needed. We will consider all financing options available with us to meet India’s needs, including emergency assistance, policy-based loans, and budget support to facilitate swift disbursement of ADB funds.”
ADB is also engaged with the private sector to meet its financing needs during this period.