COVID-19 | SUNBIZ

COVID-19: ADB Steps Up Assistance To Fiji

In the wake of COVID-19, Government has had positive discussions with the Asian Development Bank to top up its previously-pledged funding of US$100 million by up to US$100 million more.
27 Mar 2020 12:48
COVID-19: ADB Steps Up Assistance To Fiji

The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank have stepped up to assist Fiji in its fight against COVID-19.

In the wake of COVID-19, Government has had positive discussions with the Asian Development Bank to top up its previously-pledged funding of US$100 million by up to US$100 million more.

The World Bank is also offering Fiji US$5.5 million from its COVID-19 facility, adding more fuel to Government’s fight.

Further Government revenue:

While announcing the $1billion stimulus budget last night, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said response from our diplomatic and multilateral partners have given Government a great deal of positive feedback, and have begun to step up to help us both contain and plan our recovery from coronavirus.

“Mister Speaker, this level of co-operation surely lends security. Certainty, however, remains elusive.”

New Zealand and Australia step in:

A 300 per cent tax deduction will also be offered for any donations that businesses make to the government’s COVID-19 donor fund, a trust to be utilised for any coronavirus assistance, from medical supplies to economic relief.

“That fund has been generously kick-started by our Pacific vuvale, with the New Zealand Government providing NZ$3.0 million in cash and the Australian Government pitching in AU$1.5 million in combined cash and in-kind assistance.”

Debt:

Given the devastating nature of this crisis and the unprecedented blows to our revenue, our economy is contracting and Government is borrowing substantially more than planned for.

“These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. As a result, our debt to GDP ratio will increase to 60.9 per cent. As soon as the clouds of this pandemic part, we expect an economic rebound and stronger revenues that allow us to reign down our debt.

“A great many possibilities still lie before us. We must all recognise that this virus will fundamentally reshape our society, how we do business, and how we interact. We must embrace this new reality, and think proactively about how we can adapt –– by harnessing technology, by rethinking productivity and margins, and by changing not only the workplace, but how we view work itself.”

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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