Philippines seeks $325 million loan from ADB to finance COVID-19 vaccines
The Philippine government is requesting a $325-million loan from the Asian Development Bank to finance its purchase for the vaccines against the coronavirus disease, an official said on Monday.
ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird, in a televised press briefing, said the Philippines can access between $400 million and $500 million for vaccine procurement.
"At the moment, the government has requested approximately $325 million from the first component of the facility - that's the vetted response component. And that's dedicated for financing the procurement of vaccine," he explained.
"ADB is working very closely and intensely with the government even over the Christmas and New Year period to carry out for technical background work and preparing the vaccine project," he said.
But he said that the COVID-19 vaccines to be financed and procured should meet ADB's eligibility criteria.
Bird said the Manila-based lending agency is in close discussions with the Department of Finance and the Department of Health.
"We aim to bring the Philippine long proposal to our board of directors for formal consideration very, very quickly. And we want to have these resources available to the Philippines so that they can immediately procure those vaccines. And we will also provide technical assistance to the government to provide capacity support, monitoring supply needs and other request on a demand basis," the ADB official said.
The ADB recently launched a $9 billion vaccine initiative - the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) - offering rapid and equitable support to its developing members as they procure and deliver effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines. Celerina Monte/DMS