China is set to receive a loan worth RMB seven billion ($989 million) from the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) in order to combat the epidemiological threat and economic disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease outbreak.
BRICS made the announcement in a press release on Friday.
“On March 19, 2020, the Board of Directors of the New Development Bank approved RMB 7 billion Emergency Assistance Programme Loan to the People’s Republic of China,’’ the press release stated.
NDB said the loan is the largest ever awarded in the NDB’s history and is also the first emergency assistance given to one of BRICS’ member states.
According to the press release, funds from the loan have been earmarked for covering urgent and unexpected public health costs in the three provinces most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The programme will focus on three provinces in China, including Hubei, Guangdong and Henan that are hit the hardest by COVID-19.
“The programme will support these three provinces in financing their most urgent needs for fighting the spread of COVID-19.
It will also help in reducing the adverse impacts of the outbreak on their local economies,’’ the press release read.
In particular, funds will be used to strengthen medical emergency response systems in the regions as well as mitigate any current or future epidemiological or economic issues arising from the outbreak.
The NDB was created by Russia, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa to create the infrastructure for sustainable development in emerging economies and developing countries.
Any UN member state can become a member of the NDB, although the cumulative share of BRICS nations can never be less than 55 per cent of the voting potential.