The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $100-million loan to help Bangladesh respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project will be co-financed by the World Bank and it aims to increase the country's testing, tracing and treatment capacity as well as its pandemic preparedness, according to a statement issued by the AIIB today.
According to the statement, DJ Pandian, AIIB vice president, Investment Operations, said, "The unfolding pandemic presents an unprecedented global challenge and has widespread and severe negative social, economic, and financial impacts. Through the Covid-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness Project in Bangladesh, AIIB can help ease the significant pressures and strains on the country's healthcare infrastructure, systems, and supply chains and mitigate the risk of loss of life and suffering faced by the people."
Earlier in May 2020, AIIB, working together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), approved a $250-million loan to help alleviate the effects of the pandemic on small and medium enterprises and the informal sector, strengthen social safety nets and support women in export-oriented industries.
All the components of AIIB's support are consistent with the country's priorities and are designed to help the government of Bangladesh address the immediate health effects, and longer-term economic and social effects, of the Covid-19 pandemic, while serving the dual purpose of strengthening national systems to better respond to future disease outbreaks.
AIIB's financings to Bangladesh are part of AIIB's Covid-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF), which provides up to $13 billion of financing to both public and private-sector entities facing serious adverse impacts as a result of the pandemic.
As of August 27, 2020, AIIB's Board of Directors has approved a total of 21 projects under the CRF, amounting to over $6.34 billion to help 15 members navigate the challenges of these highly uncertain times.