China-backed AIIB approves $750 million loan for Philippines’ COVID-19 response

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FILE PHOTO: Customers wearing protective face masks walk past closed shops inside the almost empty SM Mall of Asia, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said on Friday it had approved a $750 million loan to the Philippines to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The project, which will be co-financed by the Asian Development Bank, is intended to increase testing capacity, support vulnerable sectors like agriculture, and provide emergency assistance to poor households, according to a statement.

Over one million small enterprises will also benefit from wage subsidies as part of the project, it said.

The loan is part of a $10 billion funding facility the AIIB has announced to help public and private sector entities deal with the pandemic.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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