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ADB approves $3 million grant to support Nepal against COVID-19

KATHMANDU: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $3 million grant from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF) to further support Nepal in its fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The grant, which is financed by the Government of Japan, will be used for emergency support for the improvement of quarantine facilities to effectively manage the inflow of returning migrants, especially in the border areas. It will also support the procurement of laboratory and medical equipment, medicines, and infection control supplies. “This assistance will support the government to better manage quarantine facilities and contain the spread of the virus in the country,” said ADB Country Director for Nepal Mukhtor Khamudkhanov. “ADB is committed to supporting Nepal to control COVID-19 and will continue to work with the government to minimize the health and economic impacts of the pandemic in the country.” The new assistance builds on ADB’s previous response to the spread of COVID-19 in Nepal, including a $250 million concessional loan to strengthen the country’s public health systems and mitigate the adverse economic and social impacts of the pandemic, particularly on the poor. ADB’s response also includes a $300,000 grant to purchase emergency medical supplies and equipment for health care staff and others in the frontline. Since February, ADB’s emergency assistance grants to its developing members have helped ensure the supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment. In April, ADB announced a $20 billion comprehensive response package to help its developing member countries address the immediate and long-term macroeconomic and health impacts of COVID-19 in the region, reads the ADB press release issued on 30 June.

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