(Yicai Global) April 7 -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved a nearly CNY2.5 billion (USD355 million) sovereign-backed emergency loan to help China improve its public health infrastructure and procure more equipment and supplies to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The credit offering is the AIIB's first emergency assistance loan to gain approval and will enable municipalities Beijing and Chongqing to better respond to public health emergencies, the lender said online today.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted that China requires urgent financial support to improve epidemic prevention and control and cities like Beijing and Chongqing have particularly acute needs to address such challenges, the AIIB added. Beijing is home to 22 million people and the headquarters of the AIIB. Chongqing has a population of over 31 million.
"AIIB's response underscores the importance of building resilient public health infrastructures and maintaining robust systems for members to effectively mitigate risks to their populations associated with outbreaks of communicable disease," said Konstantin Limitovskiy, AIIB's vice president of investment operations. He touted the loan as a demonstration of the lender's agility in responding to its members' needs during crises.
The loan aims to support the sustainable development of public health infrastructure, systems and emergency response in the two cities, the statement said. This includes upgrading their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, increasing the capacity of medical institutions and providing emergency equipment and supplies to frontline public health workers to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Editor: James Boynton