ADB provides $20 million grant to help Samoa respond to COVID-19

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $20 million grant to support the Government of Samoa’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The grant will assist fund measures to upgrade Samoa’s health sector and help the government’s economic stimulus program.

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“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,” stated 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,” He added

ADB’s Health Expenditure and Livelihoods Support Program will assist health sector improvements in Samoa including improving isolation chambers in hospitals, strengthening quarantine areas, and procuring medical supplies. It will also support train frontline workers to prevent infections.

The grant program will further 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 accept assistance through lower electricity tariffs and deferred contributions to the Samoa National Provident Fund. Different 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 $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 $2.9 million in April.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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