Asserting the will to work together to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the region, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Sunday (15 March) called on the leaders of the SAARC grouping to take joint efforts against the pandemic, The Hindu.
PM Modi noted that it is still to be seen what shape the pandemic would take in the days to come and pitched to the SAARC leaders the creation of a COVID-19 Emergency Fund based on voluntary contributions to help the member nations mitigate the challenge.
PM Modi apprised the world leaders that India can start with an initial contribution of $10 million for the formation of the said fund. He also proposed that Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla and his counterparts from the members nations of the SAARC grouping should meet to prepare the plan for creation of the fund.
The meeting was attended by Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina, Bhutanese PM Dr Lotay Tshering, Nepalese PM KP Sharma Oli, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Meanwhile, representing Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi, his Special Assistant on Health Zafar Mirza attended the virtual meeting.
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