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S. Korea urges ADB to expand support for developing nations combating coronavirus

Economy 14:25 May 22, 2020

SEJONG, May 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's finance minister called Friday for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand financial support for developing nations to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

In the first virtual meeting of the ADB members, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki also stressed tougher containment measures to fight the virus, while ensuring some public movement and economic activities.

"The conventional social safety net has shown its limitations for assisting low-income and vulnerable groups, who are exposed to greater risks during this unforeseen crisis," Hong said.

"We will work on strengthening the social safety net, particularly for those who have remained outside the employment insurance system," Hong said.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks at a meeting of economy-related ministers at the government complex in Seoul on May 14, 2020, to deal with the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. (Yonhap)

Hong said he will "encourage the ADB to implement measures to help countries overcome the crisis and regain their economic resilience. In this way, those in need can endure the current low point of the crisis and get back on their feet."

Global coronavirus cases, which were first reported in China late last year, have surpassed five million this week and the pandemic has claimed more than 320,000 lives so far.

Hong urged the ADB members to step up efforts to share their experience of fighting the virus.

"We have to share experiences with successful healthcare and quarantine measures and best practices in social and economic policies," Hong said.

"It is also crucial that we make a joint effort to build and implement exit strategies to prevent a second wave of infections," Hong said.

"While thorough quarantines should be maintained, it is important to seek a balance between quarantines and economic considerations by ensuring necessary movement and economic activities," Hong said.

On Friday, South Korea reported 20 more cases of the new coronavirus, raising its total caseload to 11,142 and the nation's death toll remained unchanged at 264, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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