Covid-19 Project: Indian Govt, AIIB Sign Landmark $500-Million Agreement

New Delhi: In a major boost to India’s fight against Covid-19, the Central government and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Friday signed a $500 million ‘Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project’.

This is the first time that the Beijing-headquartered bank has provided support to the health sector in India. It will strengthen India’s response to the global pandemic and its public health preparedness.

The agreement was signed by Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Sameer Kumar Khare, and Director General (Acting) on behalf of AIIB, Rajat Misra.

The project will enable the government to limit the spread of Covid-19 in India by scaling up procurement of PPE, oxygen delivery systems and medicines, build resilient health systems to provide core public health, prevention, patient management functions to manage the disease and prevent future outbreaks, support research by Indian and other global institutions working in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

According to the Ministry of Finance, the primary beneficiaries of this project will be infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel, service providers at medical and testing facilities (both public and private), and public and animal health agencies engaged in the battle against the novel coronavirus in all states and UTs across the country.

The press release added that the project will be implemented by the National Health Mission (NHM), the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the ICMR under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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