Multilateral funding agency Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will extend a $500 million loan to India to support country’s efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by coronavirus (Covid-19).
The project is funded by AIIB’s Covid-19 Crisis Recovery Facility, created to adapt to urgent financing needs of the bank’s members impacted by the pandemic, the bank said in a statement.
The bank's board of directors has approved a loan to India to strengthen the preparedness of the country’s national health system.
The India Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project, co-financed with the World Bank, will support India in addressing significant challenges posed to the public health system.
AIIB’s Covid-19 Crisis Recovery Facility, created as part of the coordinated international response to counter the Covid-19 crisis, has an initial size of $5-10 billion. This is an effort to support AIIB members’ urgent economic, financial and public health pressures and quick recovery from the crisis. AIIB is currently reviewing projects from a number of members, AIIB said.
The financing will enable the government of India to scale up efforts to limit the transmission of cases, strengthen the health system to expand its response capacity and enhance preparedness to manage future outbreaks.
The project also supports the purchase of medical equipment, enhanced disease detection capabilities and strengthened research. It is expected to address the needs of infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel and service providers at medical and testing facilities as well as national and animal health agencies.
“Building a resilient health system that can effectively treat Covid-19 patients and prevent its spread is the immediate priority. This funding will address this need and strengthen India’s capacity to effectively manage future disease outbreaks,” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations D J Pandian.
Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India, said AIIB’s assistance will help the Government in strengthening pandemic research and multi-sector, national institutions and Platforms for One Health, community engagement and risk communication amongst other purposes.