80 million people could face deep poverty following COVID-19 – ADB President

MANILA, May 3 — The COVID-19 pandemic, which has entered its second year, could set back 80 million people in the region to deep poverty, says Asian Development Bank President, Masatsugu Asaka.

Speaking at the CNBC Debate: Shaping the Great Reset in Asia, held in conjunction with ADB’s 54th Annual Meeting of The Board of Governors, Masatsugy reiterated the urgent need for social programmes and investments aimed at recovering the regional economies, particularly to help the poor participate in the recovery of their economic growth.

He said investments will be important, but more so in raising the well being of human beings, with particular attention given to health with access to vaccine as a priority.

He said it will be important for countries to secure necessary finance for efficient systems for the distribution of vaccine. He said ADB will also give priority to investments to facilitate financing and resources for vaccine delivery system transportation.

He said another area for investments would be those manufacturing vaccines.

The CNBC debate looked at on how economies in the region will be reopening to reinvigorate consumption and job creation.

The Finance Minister of Indonesia, Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Group Chairman, Standard Chartered Jose Vinals were the other two speakers at the debate.

Sri Mulyani spoke of the various measures being taken by Indonesia to help its people recover and build a stronger economy amid the pandemic.

She said Indonesia was giving priority to recovering, where education on health protocols will continue in the country that there will no complacency in the fight against the virus.

This is to ensure that its growth will not be jeopordised by a surge in COVID-19 cases. She also pointed that the country saw a growth in its export to 30 percent compared with a growth of seven percent last year.

She also spoke of the many assistances being given to women, saying that they not only formed a major part of frontliners in the fight against the pandemic but also made a significant number in the country’s SME sector.

Jose underlined the need for equality and ensuring the access to all in the processes of recovering of the region’s economies.