The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday approved an additional grant of USD 1 million to support the Maldivian government's emergency response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Issued under ADB's Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF) and financed by Japan, the USD 1 million grant will help alleviate the financial, logistical, and other constraints faced by the Maldivian government due to the spread of the coronavirus.
According to ADB, the grant money will be utilised for the procurement of essential medical supplies such as test kits and reagents, personal protective equipment (PPE), laboratory equipment, and other medical supplies.
Moreover, the grant will finance the salaries and transportation allowances of health workers, laboratory experts and other front liners, as well as the recruitment of additional medical professionals.
“ADB is committed to supporting Maldives in responding to its needs particularly at this time", said ADB’s Unit Head for Project Administration M. Shahadat Russell, regarding the grant.
“Our support will help Maldives improve its emergency response with the resources and expertise that are needed to fight the spread of the coronavirus and protect the livelihood of its people".
Previously on June 15, ADB approved a USD 50 million budget support package for Maldives, comprising a USD 25 million grant and a USD 25 million concessional loan.
The bank also approved separate grants of USD 500,000 from the APDRF, and USD 798,000 from the Technical Assistance for Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of COVID-19 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases, to support Maldives' COVID-19 response. The grants funded the purchase of PPEs and installation of medical equipment across Maldivian health facilities.
Meanwhile, the government of Maldives has extended the ongoing state of public health emergency, declared for the first time in the country's history on March 12, until August 7.
Maldives presently has a total number of 2,966 positive and 574 active cases of COVID-19. Till date, the country has recorded 2,362 recoveries and 15 fatalities.
On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 14.6 million people and claimed over 609,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 8.7 million people have recovered.