ADB vows support to vaccine efforts
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has committed to support efforts of its developing member countries to gain access to vaccines against COVID-19.

ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa told the board of governors that the bank would enhance its partnership with the World Health Organization, World Bank and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Cooperation will also be strengthened with vaccine experts and pharmaceutical companies.

Asakawa did not specify the mechanism for cooperation but said support for vaccine efforts of member economies would be focused on securing access and formulating strategies for fair distribution among populations.

“ADB will play a role in supporting the efforts of our developing members to secure access to safe and effective vaccines, and to formulate strategies for equitable delivery,” he said at the opening of the business session of the second part of ADB’s 53rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors.

“To accomplish this, we will continue to strengthen our collaboration with the World Health Organization, the World Bank, Gavi, vaccine experts and pharmaceutical companies.”

Asakawa also said the bank is committed to partnering with member economies in the Asia and Pacific to achieve their recovery goals amid the pandemic.

In line with this, ADB will strengthen investments in health, education, and social protection especially for the vulnerable sections of populations.

“Our investments will also help to build the human capital that economies need to thrive in the long term,” Asakawa said.

ADB will also invest in information technology and data for health; education; financing for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME); and remote work—while also addressing both the digital divide and cyber security.

“Because of the enormous potential digital technologies offer, ADB will continue to focus on enhancing our understanding of emerging opportunities and risks. We will do this with an eye toward deepening our practical experience in applying digital solutions,” said Asakawa.

To enable developing countries to take advantage of the post-pandemic reconfiguration of value chains, ADB will also introduce means of helping firms secure more diversified value and supply chains.

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