The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved an emergency loan for China to help develop its public health infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The AIIB Board of Directors has just given its approval to a sovereign-backed emergency-assitance loan of 2.485 billion yuan (approximately USD$355 million) for China to upgrade the country’s public health infrastructure, as well as fund emergency equipment and supplies.
The funds will be directed specifically at improving public health emergency response capacity in the mega-cities of Beijing and Chongqing, including upgrades to their Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and an increase supplies for public health workers working on the frontline of containment efforts.
The loan is the first form of emergency assistance credit extended by AIIB.
“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 AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations, Konstantin Limitovskiy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping officially launched the AIIB during a state visit to Indonesia in October 2013, as a multilateral development bank that would serve as an alternative to OECD-dominated institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, the IMF and the World Bank.
The Articles of Agreement of the AIIB were signed on 29 June 2015 in Beijing by 57 prospective founding members.