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24 Nov 2020

Stefania Palma, Financial Times (UK)

AIIB plans to create new social infrastructure unit for healthcare and education projects

"Beijing-based development bank AIIB to target healthcare in Asia", 23 November 2020

The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is setting up a department focused on healthcare and education infrastructure after the coronavirus pandemic exposed the region’s weaknesses in the area.

The AIIB had long been considering a healthcare unit but Covid-19 accelerated its plans [...]

The new department is a shift for the development bank, which in the four years since its establishment has focused on financing infrastructure projects in sectors such as energy, transport and water.

In April, the AIIB extended a $355m emergency loan to China supporting the public health response to Covid-19 in Beijing and Chongqing, the institution’s first foray into the sector.

The bank has not identified the unit’s first projects but was considering areas such as supporting infrastructure to improve the safety of wet markets or sewage surveillance to track a pathogen’s development, Mr Berglöf said. Chinese authorities have traced the country’s coronavirus outbreak to a live animal market in Wuhan. [...]