Japan extends $464 million loan for Philippines COVID-19 response

July 1, 2020 - 6:18 PM
A nurse gets a swab from a man under observation for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a booth set up in a hospital parking lot in Manila, Philippines, April 15, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo)

MANILA — Japan will extend a 50 billion yen ($464 million; $1 = 107.6700 yen) loan to the Philippine government to help its emergency measures to fight its coronavirus outbreak, its embassy said on Wednesday, in the first loan of its kind for Japan.

With 37,514 cases of the coronavirus and 1,266 deaths, the Philippines has the fourth-highest infection numbers in East Asia, more than half of which have come in the past 30 days as restrictions were eased to rescue a flagging economy.

The Philippines is the first recipient of the highly concessional COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan designed by the Japan to help ease the global health crisis.

The loan, which is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), adds to a 2 billion yen Japanese grant aimed at providing Philippine hospitals and institutions with advanced medical equipment.

The Philippine government has raised $4.83 billion in concessional loans for its COVID-19 response from the ADB, World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Agence Française de Développement, according to finance ministry.

—Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty