The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved an additional $500 million loan to strengthen the Bangladesh government's efforts to manage the impact of coronavirus 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 issued by ADB's headquarters in Manila, Philippines.
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 statement read.
The government's social protection programmes for senior citizens and women in distress will be expanded in the 100 poorest local government units in the country, it said.
At least 2 million poor families across the country will be given about $23 each, while about 1 million poor and vulnerable families will receive food support every 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, it added.
On April 30, ADB approved a $100 million concessional loan to support the country's efforts to address the immediate public health requirements of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, ADB also released a $350,000 emergency grant for the procurement of medical supplies and equipment and $1.3 million from an existing project to provide one-time cash support to 22,619 trainees to enable them to continue their ongoing skills training programme, the statement further said.