The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday (25 November) approved a $1.5 billion loan to India for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
"ADB today approved a $1.5 billion loan to help the Government of India purchase safe and effective vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)," ADB said in a statement on Thursday.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected to cofinance an additional $500 million for the project, it added.
According to ADB statement, the loans will fund at least 667 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for an estimated 317 million people.
"It will support India’s National Deployment and Vaccination Plan which aims to fully vaccinate 944.7 million people aged 18 years old and above, accounting for 68.9 per cent of the population," the ADB said.
“ADB’s support will help the government protect its citizens from further transmission of this disease and save lives,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.
“Vaccines are critical in overcoming the intertwined health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic, including rejuvenating economic activities, sustaining health services, restoration of livelihoods, and reopening of educational institutions, with renewed focus on social and human development priorities," Asakawa added.
Earlier last year, ADB approved a $1.5 billion COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme to support India in its immediate pandemic response efforts and another $300 million loan to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas and to better respond to future pandemics and other emergencies, it said.
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