Home / News / India /  World Bank commits $1 bn to India for public healthcare infra development

The World Bank and India on Friday signed two complementary loans of $500 million each to support and enhance the country's healthcare infrastructure.

The combined financing of $1 billion (about 8,200 crore) by World Bank will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM). 

The Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) launched in October 2021, to improve the public healthcare infrastructure across the country, the agency said in a statement.

In addition to this, one of the loans will prioritize delivery of health service  in seven states including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh, it said.

The agreement was signed by Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and World Bank India country director Auguste Tano Kouamé, it said.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore the urgent need for pandemic preparedness and health system strengthening around the world and was a stark reminder that pandemic preparedness is a global public good, said Auguste Tano Kouamé.

The two projects are supporting India’s decision to increase the resilience and preparedness of the country’s health systems against future pandemics, it said. World Bank said that this will be of great benefit for the population of the states participating in the projects and will generate positive spillovers for other states.

India’s performance in health has improved over time. According to the World Bank estimates, India’s life expectancy—at 69.8 in 2020, up from 58 in 1990—is higher than the average for the country’s income level.

The under-five mortality rate (36 per 1,000 live births), infant mortality rate (30 per 1,000 live births), and maternal mortality ratio (103 per 100,000 live births) are all close to the average for India’s income level, reflecting significant achievements in access to skilled birth attendance, immunizations, and other priority services.

Despite these advances in the health of the Indian population, COVID-19 has underscored the need for revitalizing, reforming, and developing capacity for core public health functions, as well as for improving the quality and comprehensiveness of health service delivery, it said.

(with inputs from PTI)

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