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ADB approves 20 mln USD grant to help Samoa respond to COVID-19

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ADB approves 20 mln USD grant to help Samoa respond to COVID-19

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday said it has approved a 20 million United States dollars grant to help the government of Samoa respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Manila-based bank said the grant will help fund measures to upgrade Samoa’s health sector and support the government’s economic stimulus program.

“As Samoa works to keep the disease from entering the country, ADB’s support will help to strengthen the health sector by funding the training of workers, upgrading facilities, and bolstering medical supplies,” ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said in a statement.

He added that “ADB’s assistance will also help support the livelihoods of the many people in Samoa affected by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.”

The ADB said its Health Expenditure and Livelihoods Support Program will support health sector improvements in Samoa including upgrading isolation rooms in hospitals, strengthening quarantine areas, and procuring medical supplies. It will also help train frontline workers to prevent infections.

The program will also support measures to safeguard the purchasing power of Samoans, such as unemployment benefits, cash transfers, and higher pensions for the elderly.

The ADB said the grant is funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility. CPRO was established as part of ADB’s 20 billion United States dollars expanded assistance for developing members to respond to COVID-19, announced on April 13.

This is ADB’s second grant to Samoa to combat the impacts of COVID-19, following a grant of 2.9 million United States dollars in April.

(XINHUA)

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