Cambodia to receive $250m Covid-19 loan from ADB

2 Sep 20

Cambodia has received approval on a $250m loan from the Asian Development Bank, to help with the country’s response to Covid-19.

The loan will be provided through the bank’s Covid-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program, and will aim to support the Cambodian Government’s efforts in addressing the social protection requirements, the health response, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

An economic slowdown resulting from the pandemic has put pressure on poor and marginalised groups, and threatens to push an additional 1.3 million people into poverty, the bank said.

Sunniya Durrani-Jamal, country director, Cambodia resident mission, Asian Development Bank, said: “ADB expects the economy to contract by 5.5% this year and move back to positive growth in 2021.

“The Government of Cambodia has prepared a strong policy response including provision of income support for the poor, wage support for workers, tax relief for businesses especially small and medium-sized enterprises, she added. 
“We at the ADB are confident that these measures will help minimise the negative impacts of Covid-19, on families and farms firms. With the right reforms Cambodia’s economy will emerge stronger.”

The ADB added that Covid-19 could lead to an estimated 390,000 job losses in the South East Asian nation in 2020.

Cambodia has recorded one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 infections in Southeast Asia, due to early lock-down and the closing of borders.

The ADB said the tourism sector had been the hardest hit, with a 90% drop in air passenger volume and a 99.5% decline in monthly revenue from the country’s Angkor temples.

In the longer term, ADB said it would support Cambodia’s development through “economic revival, competitiveness, stronger human capital, better social and environmental sustainability, and improved institutions”.

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