ADB pledges financial help for Vietnam’s pandemic response

06:00 | 21/04/2020 Economy

(VEN) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has deployed financial support packages to help Vietnam respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

adb pledges financial help for vietnams pandemic response

ADB pledges support

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa told State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Governor Le Minh Hung that the ADB was ready to provide financial assistance and policy advice to help the Vietnamese government contain the spread of Covid-19.

Accordingly, the ADB will provide additional support through the restart of the Financial Sector Development and Inclusion Program, Subprogram 2 (FSDIP-SP2) and the Improving Public Expenditure Quality Program, Subprogram 2 (IPEQ2) as needed. In addition, the ADB will provide Vietnam with aid to help the country purchase equipment for Covid-19 prevention.

Previously, the ADB announced a US$6.5 billion rescue package to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries as they respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes US$3.6 billion in sovereign operations for a range of responses to the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, and US$1.6 billion in non-sovereign operations for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises affected by the pandemic.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has become a major global crisis, requiring forceful action at national, regional, and global levels. With our developing member countries, we are formulating an aggressive set of actions to combat the pandemic; to protect the poor, the vulnerable, and wider populations across the region; and to ensure economies will rebound as swiftly as possible. Based on close dialogue with our members and peer institutions, we are deploying this US$6.5 billion rescue package to meet the immediate needs of our members,” said Asakawa.

SBV Governor Le Minh Hung said the Vietnamese government highly appreciated ADB’s US$6.5 billion rescue package to support its developing member countries in response to the pandemic. He also expressed his support for the implementation of support programs and projects for Vietnam.

As an official representative agency of the ADB in Vietnam, the SBV will work closely with ministries and agencies to promptly present Vietnam’s support needs, while devising solutions to accelerate the progress of support programs as well as promote disbursement of signed programs, Hung said, adding that this is an important resource to help the country respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Strict debt control

Due to the spread of Covid-19, additional capital sources are vital for Vietnam to strengthen prevention and control efforts and help the economy overcome difficulties. Given the country’s tight budget, emergency loans and non-refundable aid are extremely important tools.

Financial and banking expert Nguyen Tri Hieu praised the ADB support, adding that the important issue now is how to use the loans appropriately. He advised adopting policies to avoid corruption and loss of state assets in disbursing the funds.

Hieu also said the government needs to pay special attention to the management of public debt in order to avoid increasing the pressure of debt repayment on the state budget. He emphasized that there should be a balance between loans and repayments.

SBV Governor Le Minh Hung said the SBV expects international organizations to provide additional financial and technical assistance to support Vietnam in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hoang Lan