One of Asia’s leading development banks plans to allocate funds for a new facility worth $5bn USD to respond to “economic, financial and public health pressures” due to the coronavirus pandemic, it announced on Friday.
Financing will be provided for public and private sector groups as part of coordinated international response to the crisis announced at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit in late March, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank said.
The Crisis Recovery Facility will be “flexible and adaptive” to demands, and will provide dedicated financing over 18 months for “qualifying projects” for member-states. Emergency public health needs such as infrastructure for emergency preparedness, as well as boosting capacities for manufacturing, would also be supported, the AIIB wrote.
The Beijing-based institution is also exploring how to implement its Project Preparation Special Fund to help members, including low-income states deeply affected by the pandemic.
AIIB President and Chair of the Board, Jin Liqun, said in a press statement: “A well-managed and robust development institution must be nimble enough to deal with external shocks and responsive enough to adapt to the changing needs of its clients while also adhering to our mission of promoting economic and social development in Asia.
The international community “needs to come together” to pool resources to tackle the pandemic and economic aftermath, where the AIIB would be “committed to playing its full part”, he added.
The AIIB would “do its part” to respond quickly to the financing needs of member-states and clients “in close partnership with other international development institutions”, President Jin said, adding that the new facility would help clients “overcome immediate financial pressures and maintain critical long-term investments that otherwise may not be possible”.
The news comes after the bank announced in February donations of $1mn USD and 40 tonnes of supplies to frontline healthcare professionals in Wuhan and Beijing at the height of the crisis in February. The organisation said at the time it planned to work with the Chinese government to boost national emergency public health infrastructure to control the epidemic in the long-term.