Manila [Phillippines], Mar 12 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Thursday it will make available 200 million dollars for companies manufacturing and distributing medicines and other items needed to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Companies manufacturing and distributing products, including medicines and personal protective equipment, are increasingly strained as production and distribution ramp-up to address COVID-19.
The support from ADB, working in partnership with commercial banks, will provide such companies in Asia and the Pacific with additional working capital to meet expansion and other requirements.
"The support will target companies in the supply chain that are critical to fighting the virus," said ADB's Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance Steven Beck. "We are looking to support companies that want to ramp up production and therefore need to engage suppliers," he added.
Given that a single pool of supply chain finance is typically used for a subsequent delivery over a period of 120 to 180 days, the 200 million dollar facility could support more than 400 million dollars of financing over the next 12 months.
A total of 50:50 risk sharing from partner commercial banks could boost support under the facility to 800 million dollars over the same period.
The funds will be made available through ADB's supply chain finance programme and provided to selected companies within weeks. ADB said it is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on trade finance and is in regular contact with client banks to assess whether additional support is required.
ADB's response to COVID-19 to date includes two million dollars announced on February 7 to enhance detection, prevention and response in China and the Greater Mekong Subregion; another two million dollars announced on February 26 to support response in all its developing members; and an 18.6 million dollar private-sector loan signed on February 25 to Wuhan, China-based pharmaceutical distributor Jointown Pharmaceutical Group to support the continued supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment. (ANI)