Tuesday, 23, July, 2024

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade and ADB Governor Sardor Umurzakov today discussed how ADB can support Uzbekistan in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“ADB is fully committed to supporting Uzbekistan at this extraordinarily challenging time by mobilizing financing to combat the spread of the outbreak, supporting entrepreneurs and employment, expanding social support, and ensuring the economy continues to function sustainably,” said Mr. Asakawa. “ADB has approved $200,000 in grant support to immediately address medical needs. ADB is working with the government on countercyclical support that will help to mitigate the negative impact on the economy. ADB will also offer policy advice and reallocate loan savings to help address immediate healthcare needs and strengthen health systems.”

Mr. Umurzakov expressed his appreciation for ADB’s continued support to Uzbekistan and proactive communications during the crisis caused by the pandemic. He stressed the government is taking all necessary measures to support the health and wellbeing of its people, and address macroeconomic challenges facing the country.

Mr. Asakawa commended the government on its early measures to combat the pandemic announced on 19 March. He said the measures introduced by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev demonstrate a proactive approach to safeguarding the wellbeing, incomes, and livelihoods of the people of Uzbekistan. This can help sustain the reform momentum and reduce the time required for the economy to recover from the slowdown. Mr. Asakawa welcomed the time-bound relief measures announced for businesses in affected sectors of the economy.

The government expects a slowdown in growth, with a drop in budget revenue and export earnings leading to wider fiscal and current account deficits. The government’s stabilization measures are expected to reduce negative social and economic impacts on the population.

On 18 March, ADB announced an initial package of approximately $6.5 billion to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries, including Uzbekistan, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice whenever the situation warrants. 

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