Kathmandu, June 1. The Government of Nepal and the Asian Development Bank signed on a loan agreement of a $250 million (equivalent to NRs. 30 billion) for the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support(CARES) Program to respond the impacts caused by COVID-19 today.
The signatories were Mr. Sishir Kumar Dhungana, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, who signed for the Government of Nepal; and ADB Country Director for Nepal Mr. Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, who signed for ADB. Honourable finance minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada was also present during the event.
“We thank ADB for its support to Government of Nepal’s response to the COVID-19,” said Mr. Dhungana. “This program will support the Government’s National Relief Program that has been announced to address the impact of the Corona pandemic and will help to strengthen the Nepalese public health system, provide social protection and create more employment.”
“ADB remains fully committed to supporting Nepal in this challenging time and will work closely with the government in implementing this program to support Nepal in fighting the pandemic and reduce impacts on people,” said Mr. Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, ADB’s Country Director for Nepal.
This is a concessional loan and will be provided as a budgetary support. The program will support the Government of Nepal to strengthen its public health system by scaling up its testing laboratories, establishing quarantine facilities in all provinces, enabling of quality health service for prevention, control and cure of communicable disease, developing of health infrastructures with well-equipped hospitals, supplying of medicine and equipment; and providing service of qualified doctors and health workers.
The program will also support the Government to mitigate the adverse economic and social impacts of the pandemic, particularly on the poor and vulnerable.