MANILA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Thursday that it approved an additional 500-million-U.S. dollar loan to bolster the efforts of the Bangladeshi government to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country's economy and the public health.
"This package will build on ADB's ongoing collaboration with Bangladesh on structural reforms by supporting government efforts to speed up the country's social and economic recovery," ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said in a statement.
According to the Manila-based bank, the assistance is part of ADB's COVID-19 active response and expenditure support (CARES) program, which is funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB's countercyclical support facility.
CPRO was established as part of ADB's 20-billion-U.S. dollar expanded assistance for developing countries' response to the pandemic, which was announced in mid-April.
The bank said the loan is expected to benefit over 15 million poor and vulnerable people in Bangladesh.
ADB said around 1.5 million workers, mostly women, in export-oriented industries will receive extended salary support while doctors, nurses, and medical workers fighting COVID-19 in government-run hospitals will receive special honorarium.
Affected industries and sectors, as well as micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises are also eligible for loans with subsidized interest, it added.
Bangladesh has taken prompt actions to control the spread of coronavirus and manage its impact on health, welfare, and the economy under its COVID-19 response plan.
On April 30, ADB approved a 100-million-U.S. dollar concessional loan to support the Bangladeshi government in its efforts to address the immediate public health requirements of combatting COVID-19. Enditem