PHNOM PENH, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed on Thursday to set up a COVID-19 response fund to collectively fight against the virus, said a Cambodia's foreign ministry statement.
The statement was released after the 25th ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting on COVID-19 via video conference.
"The Ministers agreed to establish the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund with the objective of mobilizing financial resources to address the shortage of medical supplies, support the research and development of medicines and vaccines for COVID-19, and prepare for emergency responses in the future," it said.
"They also expressed their commitment to ensure the regional supply chains and open markets as well as work closely together to mitigate the impacts of the regional and global economic recession, restore the confidence of consumers and business community, and maintain socio-economic stability," it added.
The statement said the ministers also expressed strong commitment to further advance joint actions to tackle COVID-19 and the social and economic impacts that the pandemic has brought about to the region, particularly the ASEAN Community building process, through promoting policy coordination, sharing experiences and best practices, and exploring the possibility to provide mutual assistance among ASEAN member states.