Touchpoint August 2020

August 2020

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain


WB refocuses programs amidst the pandemic, increases financing to $74B

As people in developing countries around the world faced multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group worked to respond quickly with technical and policy advice, and scaled up financing to $74 billion for the poor and towards improving development outcomes.

Source: World Bank .

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IFC provides developing countries access to COVID-19 supplies

IFC launches a $4-billion financing platform to increase the access of developing countries to critical healthcare supplies required to fight the pandemic, including masks, ventilators, test kits and, eventually, vaccines.

Source: IFC

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Donors agree on aid treatment of debt relief

Members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) have agreed on a method for reporting debt relief as official development assistance (ODA). The agreement follows calls by developing countries and civil society for expanded international debt relief efforts.

Source: OECD

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ADB’s Covid-19 response reaches $9.3 B as of July 2020

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has committed $9.3 billion in financial resources in the last six months since early February when ADB started its initial response to support its developing member countries and the private sector to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, development partners committed $4.6 billion in co-financing.

Source: ADB

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APEC lays groundwork for recovery and resilience

As the virus continues to spread even after months into the pandemic, APEC member-economies are advancing actions towards recovery, as mandated by the Ministers Responsible for Trade in their joint statement on covid-19. APEC senior officials deliberated on facilitating the trade of essential products including medicines, medical supplies and equipment.

Source: APEC

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GEF supports investment boost in nature-based infra for climate adaptation

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved a $2 million grant for a new venture in partnership with the MAVA Foundation, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The collaboration aims to increase investment in nature-based infrastructure that can help cities and countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Source: UNIDO

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ODB accepts emergency loan application electronically

The Oman Development Bank (ODB) announces the availability of an electronic window on the bank’s website. It enables beneficiaries of the emergency loan program to submit their applications electronically and download all the documents required to complete the loan process.

Source: Oman Development Bank

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DBP adopts multi-channel approach in cash aid disbursement

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has adopted a multi-channel approach in the disbursement of social amelioration funds in assisting the marginalized, often unbanked, Filipinos who were economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: JSC Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus

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LANDBANK rolls out Php 10B loan program to help LGUs recover from COVID-19

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has offered a new lending program to finance development and innovative projects of Local Government Units (LGUs) to help rebuild their communities. LANDBANK has earmarked Php10 billion for development projects of provincial, city and municipal LGUs.

Source: Land Bank of the Philippines

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Pag-IBIG home loan releases rise as economy reopens

The Philippines’ Pag-IBIG home loan releases have increased over the last two months, or from May to June 2020 as a result of continuous enhancements to the agency’s loan programs while making services more accessible to members amid the pandemic..

Source: Pag-IBIG Fund

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IIB demonstrates financial stability despite pandemic

The International Investment Bank (IIB) has demonstrated a high level of financial stability and success in achieving strategic targets in the first half of 2020 with a net profit of 5.0 million euro, despite the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: International Investment Bank

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VEB.RF develops green finance standard

Russia’s development corporation VEB.RF has developed green finance guidelines that are recognized by international investors to stimulate the flow of finance to sustainable activities. In the Russian taxonomy, green finance may be sought for increase in energy and ecological efficiency and reduction in harmful emissions of thermal power plants, and for coal to natural gas conversion in the energy sector.

Source: VEB.RF

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DFCC Bank upgrades website to enhance customer experience

DFCC Bank Sri Lanka has strengthened and reaffirmed its online presence by upgrading its website with a trilingual feature, enabling users to browse through the page either in Sinhala, Tamil, or English via any device.

Source: DFCC Bank of Sri Lanka

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PT SMI opens access to local economic recovery loan

Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati has announced the availability of economic recovery loan for local governments through PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI). The criterion that must be met is that the local economy is affected by Covid-19 and the region has projects that are ready to be executed or realized.

Source: PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur

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ADFIAP holds ESRM webinar

ADFIAP’s Institute of Development Finance (IDF) and the ADFIAP Finance and Investment Center (AFIC) collaborated to hold a webinar on “Advancing Sustainability with Environmental and Social Risk Management” on July 29, 2020 to engage ADFIAP members and other financial institutions in identifying, assessing and managing environmental and social (E&S) risks and impacts in its investment and lending operations, as well as in identifying other sustainable finance opportunities in a structured way on an continuing basis.

Source: ADFIAP

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ADB appoints new vice-president

The Asian Development Bank has appointed Ashok Lavasa as Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships. He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on August 31, 2020. Mr. Lavasa has a long and distinguished career in the Indian civil service.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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Growing plastic pollution in wake of COVID-19: How trade policy can help

The pandemic has led to a surge in pollution from disposable products like plastic face masks, hand sanitizer bottles, gloves and food packaging. Effective trade rules can help limit the spread of coronavirus waste.

Source: UNCTAD

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Our food system must create healthy people and a healthy planet

We all need to eat. But the way we produce and consume food is putting an impossible strain on the planet, while many are still going hungry. And with the world’s population set to grow from 7 billion today to more than 9 billion by 2050, it’s clear that our food system needs to change – urgently.

Source: WWF

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As the pandemic pushes more consumers online, SMEs need to go online

The impact of COVID-19 containment measures has brought more consumers online and subsequently urged firms, especially small businesses, to go digital, according to the latest policy brief by the APEC Policy Support Unit and The Asia Foundation.

Source: APEC

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IFAD: humanitarian aid alone is not enough to address hunger

International Fund for Agricultural Development Vice President Dominik Ziller has noted that dramatic increase in hunger and poverty in rural areas brought about by COVID-19 cannot be addressed by humanitarian aid alone. He said that because rural people depend on agricultural supply chains for their incomes and food, he recommends that focus be on building crisis-resilient supply chains instead.

Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development

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UNIDO – Final Report on Assessment of the Socio-Economic Effects of Covid-19 and Containment Measures on Philippine Enterprises

The COVID – 19 pandemic has left very few nations unscathed. In the Philippines, while concerted efforts around urgent health concerns were intensified, the response measures, including an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), had caused disruptions across various economic and social sectors, endangering employment and livelihood, and causing urgent issues around food security and safety, nutrition, and income-generation.

Source: UNIDO

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UNESCAP – Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on South-East Asia

The health, economic and political impact of COVID-19 has been significant across SouthEast Asia, but the virus has not spread as rapidly here as in other parts of the world. There is much to learn from the response to date of countries in the subregion as governments have acted swiftly and despite limited fiscal space to contain the pandemic and avoid its worst effects.


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The 43rd ADFIAP Annual Meeting will be held virtually on October 28-29, 2020. Preparations are underway. Related information will be provided as soon as available. Be updated with association activities and initiatives by visiting the ADFIAP website regularly.


Please update and remit your annual membership dues soonest possible. For inquiries, please get in touch with Mr. Enrique Florencio at [email protected]


The Seabin: Cleaning the Oceans Safely

The Seabin was invented by Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, two surfers who wanted to clean up the world’s oceans. The Seabin can gather plastic, detergents, and oil, allowing clean water to filter through its structure. Inside the bin is a catch bag, which traps any floating pollutants. A submersible water pump sucks water through the bin, passing it out again once it has been cleaned. It only needs to be emptied once a month and could make a huge impact on water pollution worldwide.

Source: Pixabay

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Zéphyr Solar: Bringing Electricity to Disaster Zones

Zéphyr is a photovoltaic balloon and eco-friendly generator created by Karen Assaraf, Julie Dautel, and Cédric Tomissi. The balloon only requires water in order to inflate and can capture solar energy from as high as 165 feet (50 meters) in the air. The balloon is connected by a cable to a base, where the energy is stored. Its creators hope that it will bring power to areas struck by natural disasters.

Source: melvil/Wikimedia Commons

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in Asia and the Pacific

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