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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$20 million grant to help the Government of Samoa respond to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The grant will help fund measures to upgrade Samoa’s health sector and support the government’s economic stimulus programme.
“As Samoa works to keep the disease from entering the country, ADB’s support will help to strengthen the health sector by funding the training of workers, upgrading facilities, and bolstering medical supplies,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “ADB’s assistance will also help support the livelihoods of the many people in Samoa affected by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.”
ADB’s Health Expenditure and Livelihoods Support Programme will support health sector improvements in Samoa including upgrading isolation rooms in hospitals, strengthening quarantine areas, and procuring medical supplies. It will also help train frontline workers to prevent infections.
The programme will also support measures to safeguard the purchasing power of Samoans, such as unemployment benefits, cash transfers, and higher pensions for the elderly. The hospitality industry, which is critical to Samoa’s economy, will receive support through lower electricity tariffs and deferred contributions to the Samoa National Provident Fund. Several measures will target support for women, such as grants for village women’s committees to promote rural health and sanitation practices.
The grant is funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility. CPRO was established as part of ADB’s US$20 billion expanded assistance for developing members to respond to COVID-19, announced on 13 April. Visit ADB’s website to learn more about its ongoing response.
This is ADB’s second grant to Samoa to combat the impacts of COVID-19, following a grant of US$2.9 million in Apri.
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