New Delhi: The New Development Bank (NDB) fully disbursed USD 1 billion Emergency Assistance Program Loan to India. The Program was approved by the NDB Board of Directors on April 30, 2020, and it is aimed at supporting the Government of India in its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and reduce human, social and economic losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
“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,” said Mr. Xian Zhu, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of the Bank.
The Program’s scope of financing includes Healthcare Sector Emergency Response and Strengthening Social Safety Net for expenditures already incurred since January 1, 2020 so far, and the expected public expenditures for onward transmission containment and social safety net associated with COVID-19 up to the March of 2021.
The Program envisages (i) preventing, detecting, and responding to the threat posed by COVID-19; (ii) funding critical healthcare expenditure that will enhance healthcare capacity in India and strengthen national health systems preparedness; and (iii) providing immediate economic assistance to the vulnerable and affected groups, thus facilitating economic and social recovery.
In its Statement on Response to COVID-19 Outbreak, the NDB Board of Governors welcomed the establishment of an Emergency Assistance Facility to meet the emergency needs of the member countries of the Bank. According to the Statement, emergency loans to the NDB member countries could be used to finance direct expenses related to the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak and provide support to governmental measures contributing to economic recovery.
The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.
During the Fifth Annual Meeting of the NDB Board of Governors held virtually on April 20, 2020, the Governors of the Bank approved Statement on Response to COVID-19 Outbreak. In the Statement, the Board of Governors stressed that BRICS countries would unite to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.