Medical Supplies from Cambodia Helping ADB Developing Member Countries Fight COVID-19 Outbreak

Medtecs Group, a supplier of personal protective equipment in Cambodia, employs 5,500 people at its Kampong Cham factory. It has provided stable jobs, contributing to the local economy, which is critical as Cambodia braces for the impact of COVID-19. Photo by Medtecs Group via ADB

In immediate response to global efforts to combat the pandemic, the Health Sector Group of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) Department mobilized funding for Technical Assistance (TA) on Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the amount of $48.3 million in early 2020.

ADB has received requests from across its developing member countries to use the TA to undertake procurement of urgently needed medical supplies to bolster health systems capacities in preventing, detecting, and treating COVID-19 cases.

As of end-June 2020, ADB, through its Procurement, Portfolio, and Financial Management Department (PPFD), has procured and awarded $15 million of contracts under the TA with various suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, diagnostics equipment, lab reagents, and other critical items to fight the disease. This is in addition to the $16.7 million of procurement services being undertaken by UNICEF through the same TA.

Medtecs Group was one of the suppliers selected through the competitive procurement process conducted by PPFD and was awarded a contract for $5 million to produce protective gowns, coveralls and shoe covers to be distributed to frontline health workers in 11 developing member countries.

The company has been operating in Cambodia since 1999 and employs 5,500 people at its Kampong Cham factory, with 82% of the workforce composed of female workers.  The factory has provided stable jobs for people living in the surrounding area, contributing to the local economy, which is especially critical as the country braces for economic impact as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The entire production, which consisted of nearly 1.2 million garments, took approximately one month, with the company scaling up operations to meet the global PPE demand. The company now has a monthly production capacity of up to 8 million gowns, 2.5 million coveralls and 4 million shoe covers.  The finished goods passed independent third party inspection, and began dispatching from Cambodia in late June for transportation to the various destination countries.

“This first batch of goods purchased under ADB emergency procurement guidelines for COVID-19 was manufactured in a developing member country, which is also one of the recipients of the finished product. ADB is pleased to play our part in directly procuring and facilitating the mobilization of the urgently needed supplies from global sources, and to different developing member countries.” said Jesper Pedersen, ADB PPFD Principal Procurement Specialist.

This news release was originally posted on the ADB website.

Last Updated: 10 July 2020