Manila [The Philippines], May 7 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday approved an additional 500 million dollar loan to bolster the efforts of Bangladesh government to manage the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the country's economy and public health.
"This package will build on ADB's ongoing collaboration with Bangladesh on structural reforms by supporting government efforts to speed up the country's social and economic recovery," said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.
"We will work closely with the government and development partners to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on the poor and most vulnerable, particularly those affected by job losses in small and medium enterprises and the informal sector," he said in a statement.
The loan is expected to benefit over 15 million poor and vulnerable people in Bangladesh. Around 1.5 million workers, mostly women, in export-oriented industries will receive extended salary support while doctors, nurses and medical workers fighting COVID-19 in government-run hospitals will receive special honorarium.
The government's social protection programmes for people of old-age and women in distress will be expanded to cover all eligible senior citizens and women in the 100 poorest local government units in the country.
At least two million poor families across the country will be given about 23 dollars each while about one million poor and vulnerable families will receive food support of 20 kg per month during the pandemic emergency period.
Affected industries and sectors as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are also eligible for loans with subsidised interest.
On April 30, ADB approved a 100 million dollar concessional loan to support Bangladesh in its efforts to address the immediate public health requirements of combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
ADB also released a 350,000 dollar emergency grant for the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, and 1.3 million dollars from an existing project to provide one-time cash support to 22,619 trainees to enable them to continue their ongoing skills training programme. (ANI)