Vanuatu Signs $1.5 Million Grant To Support Response To COVID-19

L-R: Johnny Koanapo — Minister of Finance and Economic Management (signing); Silas Bule – Minister of Health

The Government of Vanuatu has signed a $1.5 million grant to help fund the country’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Johnny Koanapo, signed the $1.5 million grant agreement yesterday, at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.

“While Vanuatu remains COVID-19 free, cases in the Pacific are still rising, and this grant will allow Vanuatu further strengthen its ability to mitigate and contain the disease from entering the country,” said Lotte Schou-Zibell, Regional Director of ADB’s Sydney office which is managing ADB operations in Vanuatu.

“Now is not the time to be complacent and the ADB funding will help the government address their immediate health needs”

Minister Koanapo said, ‘this support from ADB could not have come at a better time when the country was hit with TC Harold and at the same time facing the impacts of COVID-19.

The Vanuatu Government appreciates the support from ADB and looks forward to more support when it exhausts its own resources as it prioritizes TC Harold recovery”.

At the signing ceremony, the Minister of Health, Silas Bule thanked ADB for its continuous financial support to the health sector during this critical time when the government through the Ministry of Health is stretching its resources to meet the demands posed on the health system by COVID-19.

The provision of the emergency grant to Vanuatu follows after additional financing from the Government of Japan into the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to help developing member countries alleviate immediate financial needs for COVID-19 preparedness and response.

The Vanuatu grant is part of a $13.3 million emergency grant package from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, to help 10 ADB developing members in the Pacific (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) finance their responses to COVID-19.

In April, ADB provided $2 million from the fund to help FSM, RMI, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu respond to COVID-19.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.