Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a loan of USD 500 million (approx INR 3,750 Cr.) to India for health infrastructure development. This is the first of its kind loan by AIIB for strengthening health infrastructure in India and is co-funded in World Bank.
Funds from this loan would be aimed at improving health-safety infrastructure and emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will help Indian Government build more containment facilities and increase its preparedness to tackle any future outbreaks.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. DJ Pandian, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Vice president of Investment Operations 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”.
Keeping in view the widespread effect of this pandemic, AIIB in a recent development on 17th April 2020 has doubled its initial COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility to US$ 10 billion from US$ 5 billion earlier. This would provider its member nations easier access of funds for urgent economic, financial and public health needs to fight the Corona Virus pandemic more efficiently.
If we see in perspective of economic opportunities in India, utilization of such huge funds will enable the country to start many new infra development projects and in turn present the Indian industry with new projects to work on.
Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs 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; and implementation management, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation of the CoViD-19 response program”.
In addition to the above mentioned areas, the fund will also support research in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and community engagement and risk communication strategies. Agencies that will realize these projects will include National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Health Mission (NHM).
About AIIB: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank headquartered in Beijing, China. It began operation in January 2016 and now has around 102 approved members worldwide. It invests in sustainable infrastructure in Asia and now also in other member countries worldwide. India is a founding member and the second largest shareholder in the Bank after China.
*One Health: a concept which recognizes that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected