Moscow [Russia], Mar 20 (Sputnik/ANI): China is set to receive a loan worth RMB 7 billion (USD 989 million) from the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) in order to combat the epidemiological threat and economic disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
"On March 19, 2020, the Board of Directors of the New Development Bank approved RMB 7 billion Emergency Assistance Program Loan to the People's Republic of China," BRICS said in a press release.
The loan is the largest ever awarded in the NDB's history and is also the first emergency assistance given to one of BRICS' member states, the NDB said.
Funds from the loan have been earmarked for covering urgent and unexpected public health costs in the three provinces in China most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the press release.
"The programme will focus on three provinces in China, including Hubei, Guangdong, and Henan that are hit the hardest by COVID-19. The Program will support these three provinces in financing their most urgent needs for fighting the spread of COVID-19, and reducing the adverse impacts of the outbreak on their local economies," the press release read.
In particular, funds will be used to strengthen medical emergency response systems in these regions, as well as mitigate any current or future epidemiological or economic issues arising from the outbreak.
The NDB was created by Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa to create the infrastructure for sustainable development in emerging economies and developing countries.
Any UN member state can become a member of the NDB, although the cumulative share of BRICS nations can never be less than 55 per cent of the voting potential. (Sputnik/ANI)