Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will give $ 750 million as a loan to India to help the government to strengthen its response to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on millions of poor households. The loan will be the second for India under AIIB’s Covid-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF), AIIB said in a statement on 17 June 2020, referring to the name of coordinated international response to counter the disease caused in the pandemic. AIIB’s total sovereign loans to India now amount to $ 3.06 billion, including a recent $500 million Covid-19 emergency response.
 
 
What
  1. The multilateral funding agency and the Asian Development Bank are co-financing loans that will help India in bolstering economic aid for businesses, including for the informal sector, expanding social safety nets for the needy, and strengthening the country’s health care systems.
  2. India is vulnerable to the pandemic given that around 270 million people continue to live below the national poverty line
  3. Around 81 million live in densely populated informal settlements with limited access to health services. The disruption in economic activities threatens to impact poor households disproportionately, especially women, many of whom are employed in the informal sector.
  4. Many of the world’s low and middle-income countries are still in the early stages of the health crisis but are already feeling the impacts of the pandemic. 
  5. This poses an enormous risk for millions across India who have only recently emerged from poverty, said AIIB Vice President.
  6. AIIB does not have a regular instrument for policy-based financing. It is extending such financings on an exceptional basis under the CRF to support its members through projects co-financed with the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank.
Flashback
  1. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. 
  2. Headquartered in Beijing, began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 102 approved members worldwide
  3. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond, AIIB will better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.