ADB’s US$1.5bn loan to boost India’s COVID-19 response

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that it was glad to support India’s bold measures to contain the COVID- 19 pandemic outbreak while protecting the most vulnerable people affected by movement restrictions, by fast-tracking and delivering the largest ever loan to India

April 28, 2020

The Government and the Asian Development Bank signed a US$1.5 billion loan agreement on April 28 to support the country’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The COVID-19 disease has claimed more than 240,000 lives between December 2019 and April 2020 while nearly 3.5 million people have contracted the disease in over 180 countries

While the lockdown is critical to tackling the pandemic, it has suspended movement of humans and goods and is expected to cost the global economy as much as US$2 trillion in 2020

India received sovereign loans worth over US$3 billion in 2019 from ADB. The Philippines-based regional development bank has been heavily involved in key infrastructure projects in India

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a US$1.5 billion loan agreement on April 28 to support the country’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The loan would provide budget support to the Government to address the adverse health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic. It will support efforts in disease containment and prevention, as well as protection for the economically weaker sections of the society, especially women and disadvantaged groups. The COVID-19 disease has claimed more than 240,000 lives between December 2019 and April 2020 while nearly 3.5 million people have contracted the disease in over 180 countries. 

India has so far reported around 42,500 Coronavirus cases and 1,300 deaths. With a cure for COVID-19 believed to be at least a year away, economies around the world have enforced prolonged lockdowns as a measure to arrest the spread of the disease. While the lockdown is critical to tackling the pandemic, it has suspended movement of humans and goods and is expected to cost the global economy as much as US$2 trillion in 2020. India had received sovereign loans worth more than US$3 billion during 2019 from ADB. The Philippines-based regional development bank has been heavily involved in key infrastructure projects around India, spanning connectivity to water and sanitation. 

The Department of Economic Affairs said that ADB’s assistance would help the Government’s immediate response measures to implement (i) COVID-19 containment plan to rapidly ramp up test-track-treatment capacity; and (ii) social protection for the poor, vulnerable, women, and disadvantaged groups to protect more than 800 million people over the next three months. India has taken several leading measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a US$2 billion health sector spending programme and launched a US$23 billion package to provide direct cash transfer, provide basic consumption goods to the poor, particularly to women, old and socially disadvantaged groups. 

ADB said that it was glad to support India’s bold measures to contain the COVID- 19 pandemic outbreak while protecting the most vulnerable people affected by movement restrictions, by fast-tracking and delivering the largest ever loan to India. Earlier in April, the bank had committed to support India’s emergency needs for the health sector while alleviating the economic impact of the pandemic, as well as short- to medium-term measures to restore the dynamic economic growth of the country by exploring all available financing options.