AIIB doubles COVID-19 crisis response to 10 bln USD

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The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said it is doubling available funds under its COVID-19 crisis recovery facility to 10 billion U.S. dollars due to high client demand.

The decision came after requests for funding have substantially exceeded the 5 billion dollars originally allocated for emergency relief, as clients require immediate assistance in areas including health infrastructure and pandemic preparedness to alleviate health care pressures.

AIIB is currently reviewing projects from several of its members, many in collaboration with other multilateral development banks, the bank said in an online statement released Friday.

The projects include a 500-million-dollar project in India to purchase equipment and detection capacity and strengthen its national health systems.

According to the statement, Turkey has submitted a request for a 500-million-dollar credit line for two of its development banks to help alleviate working capital shortages and liquidity constraints as a result of the pandemic. Indonesia is requesting 250 million dollars to strengthen hospital readiness, enhance pandemic preparedness and strengthen testing.

"We are facing a formidable challenge, with the depth and severity of the crisis growing with each passing day," said AIIB President and Chair of the Board Jin Liqun. "It was imperative that we respond to the urgent and extraordinary scale of demand from our members to significantly increase the scope of our response."

AIIB said it is working closely with other international financial institutions to create a network of support options, especially for the most vulnerable economies.

"An adaptive, multilateral approach will be necessary to effectively help countries around the world successfully navigate the health and economic costs of recovery," Jin said.

Headquartered in Beijing, the AIIB began operations in January 2016. It is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. 

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