Quoting ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa, the DOF said the multilateral bank has approved the $5-million grant to fund a food distribution program which will be implemented as early as next week for the benefit of Luzon’s poorest households.
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ADB approves $5 million grant for COVID food distribution program
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - March 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $5-million emergency grant to the Philippines to support the distribution of food items to poor households in Luzon affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Finance (DOF) said over the weekend.

Quoting ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa, the DOF said the multilateral bank has approved the $5-million grant to fund a food distribution program which will be implemented as early as next week for the benefit of Luzon’s poorest households.

The food distribution program will be implemented in coordination with the DOF, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said this program would augment the Philippine government’s own efforts to provide support to the poorest families adversely affected by the measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the DOF said the ADB is also working on a $100-million emergency project loan for the construction of healthcare facilities and procurement of medical supplies, such as medical ventilators and protective gear for frontline health workers.

The ADB also committed to accelerate the approval of a $1-billion loan through the proposed COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option under the bank’s Counter Cyclical Support Facility, according to the DOF.

The ADB likewise pledged another $150-million financing under the Social Protection Support Project to provide additional support for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the DOF said.

In addition, Asakawa also committed to accelerate the approval of its $500-million project loan for the Expanded Social Assistance Project, also in support of the 4Ps.

Earlier, the ADB had approved a $3-million grant to the Philippines for the purchase of medical supplies.

It had also committed to deliver a bigger financing package, which will consist of three quick-disbursing policy-based loans worth $1.1 billion, and another $500 million for disaster resilience financing.

In a related development, the DOF, together with the Department of Health (DOH), will also look into the financing packages that will be offered by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to improve the country’s public health infrastructure, Dominguez said in a text message to reporters.

In a statement, the AIIB said it is working to scale up support for infrastructure investment, including public health, health care and information and communications technology to members impacted by the coronavirus. – With Mayen Jaymalin, Delon Porcalla, Paolo Romero, Neil Jayson Servallos

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK COVID-19
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