The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a guarantee for a US $ 25 million trade loan to State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPC) to purchase medical supplies, as part of the country’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The supplies, to be purchased by SPC with the loan, will include personal protective equipment such as N95 medical masks, surgical masks, as well as medicines to treat people who have tested positive for
ADB’s Trade Finance Programme guaranteed 85 percent of the trade loan extended by Standard Chartered Bank to the state-owned People’s Bank and onwards to SPC, to support its import of these critical medical goods.
“This assistance will help State Pharmaceutical Corporation to purchase the urgently needed medicines and protective equipment for frontline health workers and patients,” said ADB Trade Finance Programme Investment Specialist Roberto Leva.
“Our partnership with Standard Chartered Bank has made it possible to deliver this assistance in a timely manner.”
With many economies severely impacted by the pandemic, this trade loan will enable SPC to fulfil its mission to ensure the flow of safe, effective and high-quality medical supplies in Sri Lanka.
“Providing timely assistance in such unprecedented times is critical,” said Standard Chartered Bank Sri Lanka Chief Executive Officer Bingumal Thewarathanthri.
“We are committed to Sri Lanka, where we have been present for over a century, especially as the country tackles this global pandemic.
Through our long-standing partnership with both People’s Bank and ADB, we are pleased to jointly support the import of these essential medical items to combat COVID-19 in Sri Lanka.”
On April 13, ADB announced a tripling in the size of its response to the pandemic to US $ 20 billion. The package expands on the US $ 6.5 billion initial response announced on March 18, adding US $ 13.5 billion in resources to help ADB’s developing member countries counter the severe macroeconomic and health impacts caused by COVID-19.