ADB provided $1.5-billion fiscal support to India for pandemic response

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 27, 2021

Masatsugu Asakawa, ADB President

Multilateral bank’s 2020 operations hit record high to aid Covidrecovery

Asian Development Bank (ADB) had provided a fiscal support of $1.5 billion to India in support of the latter’s pandemic response, showed the latest Annual Report (2020) of the multilateral bank released on Tuesday.

This fiscal support of $1.5 billion to India formed part of the $16.1 billion that ADB had specifically set aside for pandemic response in 2020, it noted.

In 2020, the ADB had committed a record $31.6 billion to help Asia and the Pacific swiftly tackle the coronavirus disease outbreak: support a green, sustainable recovery from the pandemic and address long-term development challenges.

The $31.6-billion ADB committed from its own resources in 2020 was 32 per cent higher than 2019’s $24 billion. These figures comprise loans and guarantees — including short-term trade finance, supply chain finance, and micro finance — grants, equity investments, and technical assistance, both to governments and to the private sector.

The annual report sets out the bank’s operational and financial results for 2020 as it supported its developing member countries (DMCs) through a year of unprecedented challenges

“ADB’s assistance is bolstering health systems, protecting vulnerable groups, supporting small businesses, and laying the path for recovery,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa in a statement. “Looking ahead, as we support the region in its recovery from the pandemic, we will ensure that our DMCs rebuild smartly and sustainably.”

ADB’s $16.1-billion pandemic response in 2020, through a $20-billion package in April 2020, was provided in various ways, most notably via a new Covid-19 Pandemic Response Option that had provided quick-disbursing fiscal support to 26 countries, including $1.5 billion to India, by the end of the year.

Support to private sector

Of the $16.1 billion, as much as $2.9 billion was for the private sector, which included direct support to companies, as well as through trade and supply chain finance to keep trade networks functioning.

In December 2020, ADB had also launched a $-9 billion facility to support access to safe and effective vaccines and their equitable and efficient delivery.

Also read: ADB approves $484-mn loan to improve connectivity, maintenance of CKIC

To fund these record commitments, ADB implemented the largest borrowing programme in its history — raising $35.8 billion, including through local currency bonds and green, gender, health, and water bonds. The bank also mobilised record co-financing of $16.4 billion, which included $10.8 billion for Covid-19 response, from peer international organisations and private financial institutions.

To support informed policymaking, ADB rapidly facilitated the sharing of lessons across its members and accelerated its analytical work.

It launched major knowledge resources such as a supply chain mapping tool to help unblock medical supplies and a Covid-19 policy database to support impact assessments and learning, including on green recovery initiatives.

Published on April 27, 2021

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