AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $50 million in loan and grant financing to help the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic mitigate the significant negative health, social, and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Delivered under ADB’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) program, the funds will support the government’s immediate priorities to contain the spread of the pandemic, ensure social protection for vulnerable segments of society, and deliver a pro-poor fiscal stimulus to safeguard small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the economy’s productive sectors.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 is an extraordinary, multi-dimensional challenge for the Kyrgyz Republic,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “The CARES Program is part of a comprehensive and integrated package of support to the Kyrgyz Republic, which will focus on helping to address the government’s immediate needs, while laying the groundwork for structural reforms to improve the country’s ability to deal with exogenous shocks in the future.”
The Kyrgyz Republic will also benefit from ADB’s forthcoming regional technical assistance to address health threats including COVID-19 in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) region. The assistance will support solutions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen health systems to better prepare for potential future outbreaks.
On 24 March, the Kyrgyz Republic declared a state of emergency and initiated measures to prevent further spread of the pandemic, including border closures and restrictions, restrictions on movements, and temporary closure of businesses. The pandemic has led to widespread job losses, particularly in industry and the service sector, which together account for 70% of all employment.
Among the 1.8 million people identified by the government as particularly vulnerable to the pandemic, around 22% are women-headed households who will need direct social protection during the economic downturn. Women are also overrepresented in the health and services sectors, at 87% and almost 60% respectively, and make up around 30% of the country’s SME owners and employees.