The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$1.5-billion budget support for Indonesia to help the nation deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on public health, livelihoods, and the economy.
The ADB's budget support is expected to help the Indonesian Government respond to challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa said in a press statement on the bank's official website that ANTARA accessed from Jakarta on Thursday.
Asakawa said the budget support would be utilized by the government with a strong focus on “the poor and the vulnerable”, including women.
"The quick-disbursing financing is part of a larger support package that ADB will provide to help Indonesia respond to COVID-19, in close coordination with other development partners," he revealed.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a debilitating health, social, and economic impact on Indonesia, he noted.
"I commend the government on its response to the pandemic, including strong and well-coordinated economic and fiscal measures," he added.
In connection with the ADB’s budget support, Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati was quoted as saying that ADB’s assistance was "timely" and would "help the government implement comprehensive measures to mitigate the devastating impact of COVID-19."
"We appreciate the speed of ADB's response and close engagement with the government to support the urgent needs of Indonesia," Indrawati was quoted as saying in the ADB press statement.
ADB president Asakawa visited Indonesia from 2–4 March and met with President Joko Widodo, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and other senior officials.
On 27 March, he and Sri Mulyani discussed Indonesia's COVID-19 response and how ADB would back the country's endeavors to tackle the spread of the virus.
The coronavirus disease initially struck the city of Wuhan in China at the end of 2019.
Since then, it has spread to at least 202 countries and territories, including Indonesia, with a massive spurt in death toll.
As of April 23, Indonesia has recorded 7,775 confirmed COVID-19 cases. While the death toll from the virus has touched 647, as many as 960 patients have recovered from the infection so far. (ANTARA)