After China, BRICS bank loans $1 billion to India to fight Covid-19 pandemic
It’s the second such “emergency assistance loan” that the NDB has provided to one of its member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) after it handed out a similar amount to China in the third week of March.Updated: May 13, 2020, 22:40 IST
The New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries has given a $1billion loan to India to help fight and contain the Covid-19 pandemic, the Shanghai-based bank said Wednesday.
It’s the second such “emergency assistance loan” that the NDB has provided to one of its member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) after it handed out a similar amount to China in the third week of March.
The ‘emergency assistance program loan’ to India was approved by the NDB’s board of directors April 30, and it is aimed at supporting the Indian government to contain the spread of Covid-19 and reduce human, social and economic losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the bank said in the statement.
“The NDB is fully committed to supporting its member countries in the time of calamity. Emergency assistance program loan to India was approved in quick response to the urgent request and immediate financing needs of the Government of India in fighting Covid-19,” Xian Zhu, vice president and chief operations officer of the bank said.
According to the NDB, it envisages, preventing, detecting, and responding to the threat posed by Covid-19, funding critical healthcare expenditure that will enhance healthcare capacity in India and strengthen national health systems preparedness and providing immediate economic assistance to the vulnerable and affected groups, facilitating economic and social recovery
In March, the NDB had approved an emergency assistance loan of 7 billion yuan (about 1 billion U.S. dollars) to China to help the country fight the outbreak.
It was not only the first loan under NDB’s emergency assistance programme but also the largest single loan issued by the bank so far.
The loan to China provided financial support for unplanned emergency public health expenditures related to the anti-epidemic fight, official news agency, Xinhua reported, adding that the assistance focussed on three Chinese provinces worst hit by the outbreak -- Hubei, Guangdong and Henan.
The NDB was established by the BRICS countries in 2014 and is headed by Indian banker KV Kamath.