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Project Name Emergency Assistance Program in Combating COVID-19
Country The Republic of India
Sector COVID-19 Emergency Program Loan
Board Approval Date 30 April 2020
Loan Amount USD 1 billion
Borrower The Republic of India
Implementation Agency Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India
Project Context

India, like many other parts in the world, has been heavily affected by the COVID-19. The pandemic poses unparalleled challenges with respect to virus containment and economic loss mitigation in India. To prevent and control the local transmission of COVID-19, the Government of India (GOI), in coordination with the local governments, is taking important steps, including national lockdown, testing through a network of more than 200 laboratories, contact tracing, community surveillance, etc.

Despite the GOI’s prompt response to the pandemic, the healthcare system in India is still fragile in face of such outbreak. India’s high population density in both urban and rural areas puts India at a high risk of rapid transmission of COVID-19. Insufficient healthcare infrastructure, such as disease detection and testing facilities, isolation wards, shortage of healthcare workers, inadequate supply of oxygen and ventilation equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), further aggravates the situation. Moreover, The limitation of movement due to the lockdown is generating unintended social and economic consequences, which are particularly pronounced for the poor and the vulnerable in India.

Project Objective

The Program will support the GOI in its efforts to contain the spread of the virus and reduce human, social and economic losses. The Program envisages (i) preventing, detecting, and responding to the threat posed by COVID-19; (ii) funding critical healthcare expenditure that will enhance healthcare capacity in India and strengthen national health systems preparedness; and (iii) providing immediate economic assistance to the vulnerable and affected groups, thus facilitating economic and social recovery. This Program is in quick response to the urgent request and immediate financing needs of the GOI in fighting COVID-19.

Project Description

The Program is to support the GOI in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, and reduce human, social and economic losses. This Program will enable recovery of economic and social activity through procurement and deployment of critical healthcare goods and services. These measures will enhance India’s disease detection and diagnosis, infection prevention and control capacities, sustain and re-inforce healthcare services, and strengthen operational support and logistics, etc. The Program will also provide financial resources to support the GOI in strengthening its social safety net to reduce the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

The scope of financing of the Program includes Healthcare Sector Emergency Response and Strengthening Social Safety Net for expenditures already incurred since 1 January 2020 so far, and the expected public health expenditures for onward transmission containment, up to the March of 2021.

Expected Benefits

The outputs of the Program include critical healthcare resources, urgent goods, services and works which will be procured and deployed by the GOI, as well as NDB’s financial support to GOI in strengthening social safety net to combat economic and social impact of COVID-19.

The outcomes of the Program relate to containment of onward transmission of COVID-19 and relief of social and economic losses.

The impact of the Program will be to promote the well-being of populations affected by the COVID-19 outbreak by improving the resilience of the public health sector and health emergency response systems and facilitating socio-economic recovery in India.

Environmental and Social Aspect
The Program is Category “B” in line with NDB’s Environment and Social Framework (ESF) and India’s environmental regulations for the public health sector. The Program will bring positive E&S impacts due to the improvement and strengthening of the public health sector to address the pressing needs for containment and prevention of a wider spread of the virus in India. Potential negative E&S impacts from the Program will be limited to: i) management of bio-medical and other wastes (solid and liquid); ii) occupational health and safety of medical and supporting staff; and iii) community exposure and social risks to the vulnerable population. These adverse impacts will be handled using medical hazmat management practices, waste management rules, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) provided by the health administration, and be mitigated by adherence to requirements of E&S country systems and NDB’s ESF.
Financing Aspect
The total loan amount is USD 1.0 billion. Disbursement will be one tranche of the total loan amount.
The Program duration is up to March 31, 2021. The Program will be implemented by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
Contacts NDB Borrower Implementation Agency
Project Portfolio Management Department:

Jianshi Yao

Ministry of Finance of Government of India:

Prasanna V. Salian

Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India

Prasanna V. Salian