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World Bank to back India’s Covid response project : The Tribune India

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 10

The government on Saturday finalised a framework to implement the India Covid-19 Emergency Response Project to address the adverse impact of disease containment measures on livelihood and create capacities to deal with the consequences of the viral transmission.

$1.5 bn over four yrs

  • The World Bank (WB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are co-financing the India Covid-19 Emergency Response Project
  • It aims at addressing the adverse impact of disease containment measures on livelihood and creating capacities to deal with the consequences of viral transmission
  • While WB will offer India $1 billion, the AIIB will give $500 million

The World Bank (WB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are co-financing the project with a commitment to offer USD 1.5 billion over four years. While the WB commitment is for USD 1 billion, the AIIB will give USD 500 million.

In the environmental and social management framework of the project, the government has acknowledged the risk of social conflict within communities due to the adverse impact of the Covid containment strategies. It has assured action to mitigate these risks.

The Centre has also admitted to the potential risk of sexual abuse and harassment in Covid quarantine centres and other health settings and stressed the need to build gender-sensitive infrastructure, like segregated toilets and well-lit quarantine and isolation centres. “Isolation rooms should be designed for single occupancy with attached toilet and bath,” it said.

Under “Addressing behavioral risks induced by livelihood related issues”, the Centre’s framework says, “The informal sector and daily wagers whose livelihoods are at stake may flout the health advisories, increasing the risk of infection. There is a potential risk of social tension and conflict within communities due to the adverse impact of containment strategies on people’s livelihood.”

The framework assures support to previous initiatives to enhance social protection for the poor and notes, “Another World Bank project —Accelerating India’s Covid-19 Social Protection Response Programme — has been planned for this.” The India Covid Emergency Project will involve the construction and expansion of healthcare facilities in response to Covid-19, procurement of equipment, and transportation and disposal of bio-medical wastes from hospitals and labs.

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