In response to China’s emergency financing needs for public health infrastructure to manage the spread of Covid-19, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a sovereign-backed loan of 2,485 million yuan (US$355 million) for the upgrading of the country’s sustainable public health infrastructure and the provision of emergency equipment and supplies.
The loan project aims to strengthen the public health emergency response capacity in the Chinese municipalities of Beijing and Chongqing. The Covid-19 outbreak triggered China’s urgent financial need for support in strengthening its capacity in epidemic prevention and control, and cities with large floating populations like Beijing and Chongqing have particularly acute financial needs to address such challenges.
The loan will support the sustainable development of the two cities’ public health infrastructures, systems and emergency response abilities. These include upgrading their respective Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enhancing the treatment capacity of medical institutions in dealing with epidemic emergencies, and providing emergency equipment and supplies to frontline public health workers to help contain the outbreak.
“AIIB’s response underscores the importance of building resilient public health infrastructures and maintaining robust systems for members to effectively mitigate risks to their populations associated with outbreaks of communicable disease,” says Konstantin Limitovskiy, AIIB’s vice-president of investment operations.
Beijing, China's capital, has a population of 22 million. Chongqing, the regional center of the west of China, has 31 million people. Improvements in the public health infrastructure of the two cities will help protect their populations in the future from other contagious diseases.