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COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program

  • Category
    Health Issues
  • Published
    5th May, 2020

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $1.5 billion loan that will support the government’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, focusing on immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for the poor and economically vulnerable sections of the society, especially women and disadvantaged groups.

Context

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $1.5 billion loan that will support the government’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, focusing on immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for the poor and economically vulnerable sections of the society, especially women and disadvantaged groups.

About

  • This loan has been signed under ADB's Covid-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme (CARES Programme).
  • The quick-disbursing fund is part of a larger package of support that ADB will provide in close coordination with the government and other development partners.

This amount will be used to focus on the containment and prevention of the novel coronavirus along with ensuring social protection for economically vulnerable sections of the society, especially women and disadvantaged groups.

Asian Development Bank:

  • ADB is an international development finance institution whose mission is to help its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people.
  • Headquartered in Manila, and established in 1966, ADB is owned and financed by its 69 members, of which 49 are from the region and 19 are from other parts of the globe.
  • India became a member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a founding member in 1966. 

CARES Programme:

  • This programme will contribute directly to the improvement of access to health facilities and care, as well as social protection for more than 80 crore people, including families below the poverty line, farmers, healthcare workers, women, senior citizens, people with disabilities, low wage earners, and construction workers.
  • The CARES Program is funded through the Covid-19 Pandemic Response Option (CPRO) under the ADB’s Countercyclical Support Facility.
  • CPRO was established as part of ADB’s $20-billion expanded assistance for developing member countries’ Covid-19 response.

Measures taken by India to contain COVID-19:

  • India has taken several decisive measures to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, including a $2 billion health sector spending programme to expand hospital facilities and ramp up test-track-treatment capacity.
  • It has also extended insurance coverage to frontline health workers engaged in Covid-19 response.
  • India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), also took monetary measures to provide relief to the people and the business.
  • It slashed policy rates, eased asset quality norms, provided loan moratoriums, taken measures to support exporters and allowed states to borrow more to meet their financing requirements.
  • It has also pumped in massive liquidity to support banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), mutual funds as well as taken measures to push the flow of funds to the MSMEs and the corporate sector.

Significance of the funding:

  • The package will reinforce the much-needed fiscal response and strengthen emergency health measures.
  • It will also support the government’s response to the pandemic, focusing on immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for the poor and economically vulnerable.
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