New Delhi [India], April 28 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday participated in the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting during which he highlighted the pharma assistance being provided by India to nearly 85 countries on a grant basis to support their response against the coronavirus pandemic.
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Ministers of Foreign Affairs video conference was convened by the current BRICS chair, Russia today to discuss COVID-19 crisis, its impact and BRICS response. The BRICS Foreign Ministers also discussed the activities to be undertaken under Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020.
"EAM highlighted the initiatives and various decisive steps taken early by India in the wake of the pandemic including through Aarogya Setu Citizen App and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package. He highlighted that much before the outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern by WHO, India instituted measures to check Corona Virus," Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
"He apprised the BRICS Foreign Ministers about the initiative to coordinate efforts to contain COVID-19 in South Asia, and creation of COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund by the SAARC countries. India is providing pharma assistance to nearly 85 nations, including many countries in Africa, on a grant basis, to support their response to the pandemic. This has been widely welcomed," it added.
Jaishankar pointed out that the economic activity across sectors has been "negatively impacted leading to loss of jobs and livelihoods" due to the coronavirus crisis. He emphasized that "we need to provide support to businesses, especially MSMEs, to tide over the crisis and ensure livelihoods are not lost."
The minister also asserted that the current challenge underlines all the more the need for reform of multilateral systems and that reformed multilateralism was the way forward. He referred to the centrality of development and growth in the global agenda.
A virtual meeting of BRICS Health Officials is envisaged on COVID-19 pandemic on May, 7 to take the discussion forward in a focussed and purposeful manner. (ANI)