China Development Bank (CDB), one of the country's three policy banks, will issue loans of more than five billion yuan (US$664.9 million) to support healthcare projects in rural areas this year, a company source said on Wednesday.
The money will benefit most of the nation's 1,500 counties, according to Chen Yuan, governor of the policy bank.
Starting from 2008, CDB will order each of its branches to set aside five percent of its annual loans for health projects in rural areas. The money should be used to focus on building clinics in impoverished areas and providing quality and low-cost medical equipment and basic pharmaceuticals for health agencies in the areas.
The rural health projects will enjoy favorable treatment in loan terms and interest rates, according to Chen.
In the first half of this year, CDB extended 2.41 billion yuan in loans to rural health projects, Chen said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2007)