AIIB to fund US$500mn for India’s COVID-19 initiatives

The Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a US$500 million on May 8 to fund the country’s “COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project”

May 8, 2020

The funding comes as part of a broader US$1.5 billion joint assistance from the World Bank and AIIB. The World Bank will be providing US$1.5 billion

This support will cover all States and Union Territories in India, addressing the needs of infected people, medical and emergency personnel, among others

The funding will boost research on the Coronavirus disease by Indian, global institutions working in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research

It will develop the capacity to detect existing and emerging zoonoses, bolster biomedical research on COVID-19 and upgrade viral research, diagnostic laboratories

The Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a US$500 million on May 8 to fund the country’s “COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.” The programme aims to help India respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and strengthen the national public health preparedness. The funding marked the first-ever health sector support from the Beijing-based multilateral development bank to India and came as part of a broader US$1.5 billion joint assistance from the World Bank and AIIB. The World Bank will be providing US$1 billion. 

This support will cover all States and Union Territories in India, addressing the needs of infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel, service providers, medical and testing facilities, among others. The project will enable the Government of India to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19 by providing immediate support to enhance disease detection capacities by scaling up the procurement of PPE, oxygen delivery systems, and medicines. The programme will build a resilient health infrastructure to manage all medical emergencies related to COVID-19 as well as future disease outbreaks.

The funding will boost research on COVID-19 by Indian and global institutions working in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research. The project will help strengthen the country’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Program, revamp infectious disease hospitals, district, civil, general, and medical college hospitals, and build a network of high containment Biosafety Level 3 laboratories. It will develop the capacity to detect existing and emerging zoonoses, bolster biomedical research on COVID-19 by Indian institutions, and upgrade viral research and diagnostic laboratories for testing and research.

The project will also drive health awareness and behaviour change campaigns on hygiene practices, as well as mental health and psychological services for vulnerable communities. This will be implemented by the National Health Mission (NHM), the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.