ADB President, AFD CEO Discuss Strengthening Cooperation on COVID-19

New Delhi: Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Chief Executive Officer Rémy Rioux held discussions today on strengthening the partnership between ADB and AFD to respond to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“ADB and AFD have a long record of close collaboration through activities such as the cofinancing of project loans and a trust fund for project preparation,” said Mr. Asakawa. “This strong partnership is an excellent foundation on which to build our collaboration on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.”

“ADB and AFD are committed to taking collective action to respond to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Mr. Rioux, “including by jointly enhancing their wealth of hands-on experience in building coordinated responses with a view to forge a more sustainable future for all.”

The two leaders exchanged information on their response packages, which includes $20 billion announced by ADB on 13 April to offer budget support, tailored assistance for the private sector, and continued concessional and grant resources to fund immediate emergency needs in ADB’s developing member countries. AFD launched a €1.2 billion response program on 9 April called “Health in Common,” which offers rapid support to shore up fragile healthcare systems and prepare developing countries for a post-crisis world.

They looked forward to the Finance in Common Summit, the first global meeting of all Public Development Finance Institutions, to be hosted by AFD on 12 November, on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum. Issues on the summit agenda will include approaches to reconciling short-term stimulus and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on nature and society in order to achieve a sustainable recovery. Public Development Finance Institutions will play important roles in helping economies advance in the right direction.

ADB and AFD seek to achieve a total of $5 billion in cofinancing in the three years to 2022, focusing among other things on the Pacific and climate change. The AFD Trust Fund at ADB, established in 2004, has to date committed about $7.4 million for project preparation. Other aspects of ADB-AFD cooperation include an annual high-level consultation and a staff exchange program.

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.