ADB Throws $3.2-Bn Credit Line to India's Fight against Covid

Funding agency wants the loan to be used for enhancing access to primary healthcare in urban areas
ADB Throws $3.2-Bn Credit Line to India's Fight against Covid
ADB Throws $3.2-Bn Credit Line to India's Fight against Covid

The Asian Development Bank announced on Friday that it has committed a record $3.92 billion in sovereign loans to India in 2020 for 13 projects, including $1.8 billion in Covid-19-related initiatives to help the government respond to the pandemic.

The Manila-based global organisation stated that as part of its pandemic assistance to India, it has offered emergency assistance to limit the disease and implement social protection measures for relief to the poor and other vulnerable groups. The Asian Development Bank also allocated funding to help the government in strengthening equal access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas. This is the ADB's largest annual financial commitment to India since it began lending in 1986, it said, adding that it has also committed $356.1 million to India through non-sovereign activities, including three Covid-19 assistance initiatives.

Takeo Konishi, Country Director for ADB in India said, “Going forward, ADB stands ready to provide additional resources to address India's many Covid-19 related challenges, including funds to expedite the country's ongoing vaccination programme and build the health system's resilience against future shocks, with supplementary support to protect small businesses, and underpin education and social protection”. It went on to say that during 2020, the ADB continued to provide regular assistance to India in the areas of energy, transportation, urban development, and public sector management.

According to the ADB, new projects committed in 2020 include $500 million to establish an 82-kilometer high-speed Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System corridor; energy sector loans to expand distribution networks in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Meghalaya; and a 120-megawatt hydroelectric power plant in Assam.

In the urban sector, the ADB granted loans for sustainable urban development in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh's secondary and smaller towns. It also contributed funding to the West Bengal government's budgetary restructuring effort. ADB committed funds to provide Tripura and Himachal Pradesh with capacity development support for planning and designing through its project readiness financing.

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