The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday announced a $6.5 billion package for its developing member countries to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The initial package has been announced to address the immediate needs of developing member countries (DMCs) as they respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, ADB said in a statement.

Manila-headquartered ADB works towards sustainable development and poverty eradication in Asia and the Pacific region.

“This pandemic has become a major global crisis. It requires forceful action at national, regional, and global levels,” ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said.

“With our developing member countries, we are formulating an aggressive set of actions to combat the pandemic; to protect the poor, the vulnerable, and wider populations across the region; and to ensure economies will rebound as swiftly as possible.”

“Based on close dialogue with our members and peer institutions, we are deploying this $6.5 billion rescue package to meet the immediate needs of our members,” he added.

Asawaka said ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice down the road whenever the situation warrants.