Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a loan of USD 500 million to support India’s efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19. The country will be able to achieve that by strengthening 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.
Through the fund, the Indian government is aspiring to limit transmission of COVID 19 cases, strengthen the health system to expand its response capacity and enhance preparedness to manage future outbreaks. India can purchase medical equipment, enhance disease detection capabilities and strengthen research in this area using the fund.
This fund will be utilised for 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.
Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India, Sameer Kumar Khare said that this fund will help the country in its fight against the Coronavirus. “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; and implementation management, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation of the COVID-19 response programme.”
COVID 19-related projects have been brought under the AIIB’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility which aims at financing needs of the Bank’s members impacted by the pandemic.