Asakawa: ADB ready to provide financial assistance and policy advice to Armenia as needed
YEREVAN, August 19. /ARKA/. Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan today discussed the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Armenia and ADB’s operations in the country, the press service of the ADB reported on Wednesday.
Masatsugu Asakawa is quoted by the press release as saying that COVID-19 has hit all countries including Armenia and continues to pose an unprecedented health and economic challenge. “ADB remains fully committed to supporting Armenia in these challenging times and stands ready to provide financial assistance and policy advice as needed,” he said.
Mr. Asakawa welcomed the government’s swift actions to strengthen the country’s health system, increase preparedness to cope with rising cases of COVID-19, and manage the impact on the economy. This includes economic and social stimulus packages aimed at supporting affected businesses, expanding unemployment benefits, and social protection to vulnerable groups.
Masatsugu Asakawa and Nikol Pashinyan discussed the ADB’s ongoing support for Armenia including projects in health, education, energy, transport, urban development, and disaster risk reduction. They also discussed stepping up private sector engagement in the country in priority areas such as infrastructure and social sectors.
Mr. Pashinyan expressed his appreciation for ADB’s ongoing support to Armenia.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today held a video call with Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa, the premier’ s press service reports.
Nikol Pashinyan congratulated Masatsugu Asakawa on his appointment as ADB President and invited him to visit Armenia after the epidemic is over.
The prime minister noted that ADB is one of Armenia’s reliable partners. “We appreciate the ongoing cooperation with ADB and are keen to further develop it,” Nikol Pashinyan said. The premier praised the Bank’s financial and technical assistance to Armenia on the way to overcoming the economic impact of COVID-19.
On August 3, ADB approved a $2 million grant for Armenia from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to procure critical personal protective equipment and medical supplies for the country. This builds on $500,000 previously provided for the purchase of medical equipment and supplies. This month, ADB also approved a grant-financed $750,000 technical assistance project to help develop a distance learning platform in Armenia. This will help ensure quality and continuous education during times of emergency and normal situations.
On 1 June, ADB signed a $20 million loan with Electric Networks of Armenia Closed Joint-Stock Company for a working capital support facility to ensure energy supply as the country manages the impact of COVID-19.
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. -0—