ADB President Reaffirms Support for Georgia's COVID-19 Response on Call with Minister of Finance

ADB President Reaffirms Support for Georgia's COVID-19 Response on Call with Minister of Finance

The FINANCIAL -- Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Georgia’s Minister of Finance Ivane Matchavariani today discussed how ADB can support Georgia in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “ADB is fully committed to supporting Georgia at this unprecedented time and we are considering every option to ensure support is provided quickly and effectively,” said Mr. Asakawa. “ADB is ready to work with the government and key partners on countercyclical support that will enable it to meet the needs of the people most affected. Significant efforts are also underway to ensure that we can provide further support to the private sector.”

Mr. Matchavariani expressed his appreciation for ADB’s ongoing support and for the organization’s proactive communication with Georgia and its other members. “Amid the global crisis caused by the pandemic, the continued support of international financial institutions is vital,” he added.

Georgia is experiencing a dual shock from the direct impact of the pandemic and indirect effects of lower oil prices. The impact will be particularly severe on tourism and other services. Lower oil prices are negatively affecting remittances from neighboring countries and trade flows are weakening as growth slows in these countries.

Mr. Asakawa recognized that Georgia has been a leading reformer and this has positioned the country well to deliver its response to the pandemic, including through tax concessions to the hard-hit tourism industry, capital expenditures to provide economic stimulus, and expanding access to funding for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and private individuals. These measures will ensure that Georgia is able to use resources effectively and lay the foundation for a quicker recovery.

On 18 March, ADB announced an initial package of approximately $6.5 billion to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries, including Georgia, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice down the road whenever the situation warrants. Visit ADB’s website to learn more about our ongoing response.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

On March 23, Georgia declared a state of emergency, allowing the government to take additional steps to minimize the risk of infection during the outbreak of COVID-19, including closing all commercial businesses except for groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, banks and posts offices; prohibiting gatherings of more than ten people; imposing fines and/or detention for violations of self-isolation and quarantine, and other provisions

As of March 21, the Georgian government suspended all air movement. The only flights in or out of Georgia will be on Georgian Airways and in coordination with the Georgian government.
Georgia has banned all foreign passengers from entering the country until at least April 1. Georgian citizens, their non-Georgian dependents, and diplomats will still be allowed to enter and will be quarantined for 14 days.
All land borders remain closed to passenger travel with the exception of Georgian citizens returning to Georgia or citizens of neighboring countries returning to their home countries.

Quarantine Information:

Anyone who shows symptoms associated with COVID-19 (fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius, cough, shortness of breath) will be taken to the nearest infectious disease hospital for testing and may be quarantined for at least two weeks.
Anyone who tests positive will be held in quarantine for treatment that may last two to three weeks.
Anyone who recently traveled to any area with a significant number of infections remain in voluntary isolation for two weeks, even if they do not have symptoms.

Author: The FINANCIAL