MANILA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday approved a 250-million-U.S. dollar loan to help the government of Cambodia respond to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Manila-based bank said the loan will be used to strengthen Cambodia's health care system, increase social assistance to the poor and vulnerable, and provide economic stimulus to businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
The ADB said Cambodia is highly vulnerable to the negative impacts from COVID-19, due to its open economy, narrow economic base, and highly mobile population.
The ADB said it expects Cambodia's economy to contract by 5.5 percent in 2020 due to the decline in tourism; lower exports of garments, footwear, and travel goods; and a slowdown in construction activity. The downturn risks pushing an additional 1.3 million people into poverty.
The ADB said its COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) program is funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB's Countercyclical Support Facility. CPRO was established as part of ADB's 20-billion-U.S. dollar expanded assistance for developing members' pandemic response, which was announced on April 13.