COVID-19: Fiji seeks ADB help

Attorney general and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the press conference update on COVID 19 in Suva on 21.03.2020. Picture: RAMA

The Fijian Government has asked for a $F460 million policy-based loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help fund the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The request was made by Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during his discussion with ADB president, Masatsugu Asakawa.

During the discussion, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stressed that the impact of a coronavirus-driven economic collapse in Fiji’s major international source markets for trade, manufacturing, tourism, and the aviation industry––compounded with disruptions to global supply chains––was already proving detrimental to the Fijian economy.

“Developing economies will be hardest hit by the coronavirus-driven collapse of the world economy,” he said.

“This crisis demands an unprecedented multilateral response––and we’re encouraged by ADB’s willingness to support Fiji in responding to and recovering from this pandemic,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Mr Asakawa said ADB was committed to helping Fiji combat the pandemic.

“We will consider all options, including policy-based lending, that can be approved and disbursed in a timely manner,” he said.

The ADB’s Board of Directors will consider Fiji’s request in the coming months.


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