ADB grants $3m for Covid-19 vaccine procurement
Hossen Sohel for DOT
 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Bangladesh yesterday signed an agreement for $3 million in grants for procuring urgent medical supplies, including Covid-19 vaccines, reported banglanews24.com, Dhaka Tribune.  Japan is financing the grant assistance sourced from the ADB-administered Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund.  Fatima Yasmin, secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Parkash, country director of ADB, virtually signed the grant agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively.
 “We are very pleased to provide this grant assistance that can be used to procure Covid-19 vaccine, which is under development, and the government is trying to source it at the earliest for the people of Bangladesh,” said ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash.
 “While the Covid-19 pandemic remains under control, providing vaccines to the people is an urgent priority to tame the disease for resuming economic activities in full swing.
 “We are closely working with the government to minimize the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and help accelerate the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery of the country,” Parkash added.
 The new assistance builds on ADB’s previous support of around $603 million in loans and grants to contain and mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.
ADB on 7 May approved a $500 million loan to bolster the efforts of the Bangladesh Government to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and public health.
On 30 April, ADB approved a $100 million concessional emergency loan to support Bangladesh’s efforts to address the immediate public health requirements of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.
ADB also released a $350,000 emergency grant for the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, and $1.3 million from an existing project to provide one-time cash support to 22,619 trainees to enable them to continue their ongoing skills training program.