Vietnam commits $5 million to ASEAN Covid-19 response fund

By Viet Anh   November 12, 2020 | 05:23 am PT
Vietnam commits $5 million to ASEAN Covid-19 response fund
A health staff tests Covid-19 samples at a hospital in Quang Ngai Province, central Vietnam, August 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Van Phong.
Vietnam will contribute $5 million to the ASEAN Covid-19 response fund, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the 37th ASEAN Summit Thursday.

The contribution includes medical equipment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

The ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund was formally established at the summit. The fund, announced at the 36th ASEAN Summit, has received pledges of up to $10 million and stands ready to provide assistance to countries in combating the pandemic as needed, officials said.

The bloc also agreed to set up the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies as suggested by PM Phuc at the April 14 ASEAN special summit on dealing with Covid-19.

The third document approved at the summit Thursday was the Comprehensive Recovery Framework for ASEAN and Action Plan. The framework has three main stages: reopen, recovery and self-reliance. Key features include Covid-19 preventive measures at the regional level, joint action by the bloc, a recovery strategy (enhancing the medical system, ensuring human security, fostering business and collaboration within ASEAN, boosting digital transformation and building a sustainable and self-reliant future), plans for recovery and stability (policy, budget, mechanism), and building a new image for ASEAN in the post-Covid-19 world.

The 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, hosted online by Vietnam, began November 12 and will close on November 15. They are the last and the most important meetings under Vietnam's ASEAN Chairmanship this year.

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