The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is strengthening its partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). Cooperation build-up helps to expand critical health care in the Asia-Pacific region and contains the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, declared ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.
During a conference call with WHO regional Directors, Mr.Asakawa noted that the current partnership, based on a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 2018, has helped to eliminate the region’s health security risks and strengthen health systems that were “dispersed” after the virus spread.
– I greatly appreciate the close collaboration with WHO regarding COVID-19. I have found that the regular exchange of views and up-to-date information on the pandemic evolution provided by WHO is invaluable to ADB operations, – said Mr.Asakawa. – ADB takes into account WHO’s input and recommendations to ensure that our support fully meets the needs of our developing members. As countries have been implementing these projects and ADB continues to expand technical and financial assistance, we bargain for further collaboration that will help us to respond and rebuild the region after COVID-19.
On April 13, the ADB announced a comprehensive $ 20 billion support package to help developing members to cope with the impact of COVID-19. The Bank jointly with WHO is currently finalizing development of an administrative regulator to manage financial mechanisms, reporting and implementation tools related to their mutual response to COVID-19, as well as projects to support the crisis recovery.
Such first regulator will cover South Asia, and then expand to Central Asia, East Asia, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia.