Home / News / India /  ADB assures $2.2 bn for India’s war against coronavirus

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday assured India of a $2.2-billion aid to fight the covid-19 pandemic, following a telephonic conversation between ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday evening. Last week, the World Bank had approved a $1-billion assistance to help India prevent, detect and respond to the outbreak, and strengthen its public health preparedness.

“ADB is committed to supporting India’s emergency needs. We are now preparing $2.2 billion in immediate assistance to the health sector and to help alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic on the poor, informal workers, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the financial sector," Asakawa said. “ADB assistance will be further increased if needed. We will consider all financing options available with us to meet India’s needs, including emergency assistance, policy-based loans and budget support to facilitate swift disbursement of ADB funds."

Asakawa also appreciated the Indian government’s decisive response to the pandemic, including a national health emergency programme, tax and other relief measures provided to businesses, and a 1.7 trillion economic relief package announced on 26 March to provide immediate income and consumption support to the poor, women, and workers affected by the lockdown.

On Thursday, the Centre announced a 15,000 crore package to help states with their covid-19 emergency response and health system preparedness.

Last week, ADB had slashed its growth outlook for India from 6.5% to 4% for 2020-21, citing weak global environment and continued efforts to contain the covid-19 outbreak.

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