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Letter to ADB regarding Development Finance Institution's Covid-19 response

Updated: May 26, 2020

MR. MASATSUGU ASAKAWA President Asian Development Bank

Dear President Asakawa;

Good day.

NGO Forum on ADB and the Coalition on Human Rights and Development (CHRD)along with other civil society organizations around the world are demanding the ADB to ensure that the funding and support they provide as part of the Covid-19 response, and during the economic recovery period, respect human rights and leads to economic justice for those who are most vulnerable to the pandemic and its social, economic, and political consequences.

A significant amount of DFI support is going toward governments and other clients with poor human rights records. There are gaps in transparency and accountability. And in many cases, the money will go to corporations and banks and may never reach those who are the most vulnerable. At the same time, the focus on combating the spread of Covid-19 has created additional risks and challenges for those standing up for their rights or speaking out against

development activities that are harming them and their communities. Thus, Covid-19 is both a test and an opportunity for DFIs to align their policies and practices with laws, policies, and standards on human rights and responsible business conduct.

DFIs’ response to Covid-19 should support equitable and universal access to healthcare, food, water, and other essential services. This includes avoiding projects that harm the environment, displace people, increase surveillance and militarization risks, or threaten sustainable livelihoods and food security. Taking a human rights-based approach to the development will also help address project and portfolio risks, and channel funds in a way that is most impactful for people, peoples, and the planet.

We have attached our official statement and demands we see significant during these trying times.  The elements in the letter should be seen as a supplemental input from civil society towards the upcoming ADB SPS review.

Respectfully yours,

Mr. Rayyan Hassan

Executive Director

NGO Forum on ADB

Read the declaration here.


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