The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on May 28 that it had approved a USD 100 million loan to help Georgia contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate the impact on businesses, and protect the livelihoods of the most vulnerable.
Noting that “as a major trade and tourism hub, COVID-19 poses a grave threat to the health and economic wellbeing of Georgia,” ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa sad the Bank is “fully committed to supporting” Georgia’s COVID-19 response.
Funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility, the loan will protect the vulnerable by helping to fund the government’s social assistance measures, ADB said.
These include temporary payments for up to 350,000 formal-sector workers, one-off payments for up to 250,000 informal or self-employed workers; subsidizing utility bills for 1.2 million families; and a six-month price freeze on nine key food products, added the Bank.
ADB highlighted that the loan will also help the Georgian Government provide personal protective equipment to frontline female medical workers and expand cash assistance to disabled women and children.
“Of the 6,000 tourism and hotel businesses supported through the government’s tax and loan subsidy scheme, more than one-third are owned or managed by women,” it added.