File photo: VCG
MANILA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday vowed to support the efforts of its developing members to secure safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 and to formulate strategies for equitable delivery.
To accomplish this, the Manila-based ADB said that it would continually strengthen collaboration with other partners like the World Health Organization, the World Bank, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, vaccine experts, and pharmaceutical companies.
In an address to ADB's Board of Governors, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa also said the bank is committed to helping developing economies in Asia and the Pacific recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"ADB will continue to earn your trust as a steadfast partner during the uncertain times we still face in our region as we build for a strong and lasting recovery," Asakawa said.
Asakawa was speaking at the opening of the business session of the second part of ADB's 53rd annual meeting of the Board of Governors, this year held in a virtual and abbreviated format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the region moves forward toward recovery, Asakawa said the ADB will build on its relationship with its members to support them in key areas like promoting regional cooperation and integration, investing in health, education, and social protection, tackling climate change, addressing the digital divide and cybersecurity.
The ADB announced in April to provide a 20 billion U.S. dollar package to help its developing members address COVID-19. This included rapid emergency grants and technical assistance to help governments meet urgent medical needs; a new COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option, which is supporting countercyclical expenditure programs; and assistance for the private sector.
The ADB has so far committed about 11.2 billion U.S. dollars in financial and technical assistance to fight the pandemic.
Working closely with development partners, the ADB has also mobilized about 7.2 billion U.S. dollars in cofinancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Established in 1966, the ADB is owned by its 68 members and 49 members are from the Asia-Pacific region.