ADB announces $20 billion coronavirus rescue package

ADB announces $20 billion coronavirus rescue package
Developing members of the bank range from Afghanistan and Myanmar to India and China. Above, shanties at Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums, in Mumbai. (AP)
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Updated 13 April 2020

ADB announces $20 billion coronavirus rescue package

ADB announces $20 billion coronavirus rescue package
  • Fund represents the tripling of a package announced just a month ago
  • ADB warned earlier this month the pandemic could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion

MANILA: The Asian Development Bank said Monday it will roll out a massive $20 billion package to help developing member nations weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund represents the tripling of a package announced just a month ago, which the ADB decided to boost as the scale of the contagion’s impact has mushroomed.
Nearly simultaneous shutdowns across the global economy, with workers ordered to hunker down at home against the virus, have set the stage for a deep recession.
Officially reported COVID-19 cases worldwide have topped 1.8 million and claimed around 115,000 lives globally.
“The scope and the scale of the crisis make it imperative for the ADB to expand its support,” bank president Masatsugu Asakawa said in a video statement.
Up to $13 billion in loans will be made available to help virus-hit developing members fill in budget gaps, with another roughly $2 billion set for the private sector.
Developing members of the bank range from Afghanistan and Myanmar to India and China.
The ADB warned earlier this month the pandemic could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion as it ravages the United States, Europe and other major economies.
Markets have been sent spinning as traders fret over the crisis’s long-term impact, though governments and central banks have stepped in to ease the pain, pledging trillions to prop up economies.

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Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
Updated 17 January 2021

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
  • More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake
  • On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard

JAKARTA: At least 73 people have been killed after an earthquake struck Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province on Friday, the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said on Sunday, the latest in a string of disasters to hit the Southeast Asian country.
More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said. Some sought refuge in the mountains, while others went to cramped evacuation centers, witnesses said.
Police and military officers have been deployed to crack down on looting in several parts of the region, Jati added.
An emergency response status, intended to help rescue efforts, has also been put in place for two weeks, he said.
Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of Indonesia’s meteorological, climatology and geophysical agency (BMKG), has said that another quake in the region could potentially trigger a tsunami.
Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2018, a devastating 6.2-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands.
Just two weeks into the new year, the world’s fourth-most populous country is battling several disasters.
Floods in North Sulawesi and South Kalimantan province each have killed at least five this month, while landslides in West Java province have killed at least 29, authorities said.
On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard.
East Java’s Semeru mountain erupted late on Saturday, but there have been no reports of casualties or evacuations.
Dwikorita said extreme weather and other “multi-dangers” of hydrometeorology are forecast in the coming weeks.