In response to China's emergency financing needs for public health infrastructure to manage the spread of COVID-19, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's (AIIB) Board of Directors has approved a sovereign-backed loan of RMB2.49 billion ($355 million) as an adaptive way of upgrading the country's sustainable public health infrastructure and providing emergency equipment and supplies.
The project, to be supported by AIIB's first emergency assistance loan, aims to strengthen the public health emergency response capacity in the Chinese municipalities of Beijing and Chongqing. The outbreak of COVID-19 triggered China's urgent financial need for support in strengthening its capacity in epidemic prevention and control. Cities with large floating populations like Beijing and Chongqing have particularly acute financial needs to address such challenges.
The loan will support the sustainable development of the two cities’ public health infrastructure, system and emergency response. These include upgrading their respective Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enhancing the treatment capacity of medical institutions in dealing with epidemic emergencies and providing emergency equipment and supplies to frontline public health workers to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19.
"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.
"The emergency loan demonstrates AIIB’s agility in responding positively and effectively to its members’ needs during crises."
With a population of 22 million, Beijing is the capital of China and AIIB’s host city. Chongqing is the regional center of the west of China with a population of more than 31 million. Improvements in the public health infrastructure of the two cities will help protect their populations in the future from other contagious diseases.