ADB announces $320,000 grant to help Nauru combat COVID-19

Nauru is one of four Pacific countries to receive assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to help finance the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The other countries are the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

The countries will receive the following grant amounts, which will enable them to kickstart their disaster response plans: $470,000 for FSM; $370,000 for the Marshall Islands; $320,000 for Nauru; and $370,000 for Tuvalu.

A state of emergency was declared in each of these countries—on 7 February in the Marshall Islands, on 14 March in FSM, on 16 March in Nauru, and on 20 March in Tuvalu. The scale of the emergency declared in each country is beyond the capacity of each government and health sector to meet the immediate expenses needed for adequate public health services.

“ADB will leverage off the good working relationships with the Ministries of Health and development partners in these countries to help address their immediate needs and coordinate the emergency response,” said ADB Health Specialist for the Pacific Ki Fung Kelvin Lam. “ADB will ensure these grants are swiftly disbursed to allow each country to respond as quickly as possible to their emergency situations.”

ADB’s support will help alleviate the immediate financial, logistical, and other constraints to meet each country’s immediate response needs and deliver appropriate medical services where required. Recognizing the unpredictable nature of the situation and complementing the donations of supplies by other partners, flexibility is required in the design of any support, along with close coordination with supporting partners, including the Government of Australia, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The $1.53 million in grants is separate from the $6.5 billion aid package for Asia and the Pacific that ADB announced on 18 March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ADB is engaging in discussions with all its developing member countries, including those in the Pacific, on how best to utilize this funding.


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