New Delhi: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's (The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's (AIIB) Board of Directors has approved a loan of $500 million to support India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic by strengthening the country's health system.
Titled 'India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project', it 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, an AIIB statement.
It will be co-financed by the World Bank and would support India in addressing significant challenges posed to the public health system, said the Beijing-headquartered bank.
"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," it said.
The project also supports the purchase of medical equipment, enhanced disease detection capabilities and strengthened research and 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.
AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations D.J. Pandian said: "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."
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 to support AIIB members' urgent economic, financial and public health pressures and quick recovery from the crisis.