AIIB to scale up public health services amid COVID-19
In view of the fragile infrastructure in member countries having less capacity to handle health crises the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is working to adjust the health services to new reality by scaling up investment in their health infrastructure. .
The infrastructure investments will include upgrading public health, healthcare and information and communications technology (ICT) to better serve members, including Bangladesh, impacted by COVID-19, said a AIIB press release issued on Wednesday.
"There has never been a greater need for a multilateral and truly global coordinated effort to ease the economic burden experienced by all," AIIB President and Chair of the Board Jin Liqun said.
"We have a responsibility to our members who face tremendous pressure to maintain the health and safety of their citizens while managing the impact of an economic downturn. It is our duty to be flexible and responsive in a time of crisis so our members can continue investing in sanitation, healthcare and technology-enabled infrastructure," he said
Recent analysis by AIIB highlights a direct correlation between quality of overall infrastructure and health security, indicating that infrastructure development is a key part of health security and epidemic preparedness.
The COVID-19 virus has exposed the critical need for countries to also ensure preparedness for the needs of an aging population.
Lower income countries are particularly vulnerable as they are already struggling to keep up with their infrastructure needs. Layering an economic downturn and additional fiscal stresses from COVID-19 on top, many of them will fall short of the 6 percent to 10 percent GDP investment needed to maintain economic growth. AIIB president Jin said, "We will work with our Board of Directors, members and partners to adjust to this new reality, providing scaled up and targeted investment in critical sustainable infrastructure to protect the people we serve and the generations that follow."
It will announce a number of public health infrastructure financing options for its members in the coming days and weeks, to help build up economic resilience and mitigate the impact of future health crises, he added.