Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) pledged to support inclusive development and boost the welfare of children and youths in Indonesia to fight the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

ADB Director for Indonesia Winfried Wicklein and UNICEF Representative for Indonesia Debora Comini inked a memorandum of understanding in Jakarta on Tuesday to bolster the partnership.

In line with the commitment, ADB will cooperate with UNICEF in intensifying various programs for Indonesian children, youths, women, and other less-fortunate community groups in sectors targeted at promoting social welfare.

The sectors comprise health, water, sanitation and cleanliness, education, nutrition, social protection, climate change and disaster mitigation.

The partnership will also support Indonesia's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic including the procurement of vital medical equipment, such as personal protective equipment for medical workers in the country.

The COVID-19-related aid will be financed by a grant worth US$3 million from the ADB's Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund. ADB approved the grant on March 20, 2020, with UNICEF being one of the key partners to implement the program.

Wicklein pointed to the commitment being the first formal state-level agreement between the two institutions after their cooperation at a global level since several years.

"The ADB is thankful that it can cooperate with a strong and committed partner, such as UNICEF, in Indonesia, particularly in the midst of this very unusual situation, at a moment such as this, when the COVID-19 pandemic is having an adverse impact on public health and life," he stated.

He expounded that the cooperation will also enable both institutions to help the government promptly address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia and support the priority medium- and long-term development in the country.

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Translator: Satyagraha/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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