• The World Bank is lending up to $1 billion to help India with preparedness for future pandemics as well as to strengthen its health infrastructure.
  • The lending will be divided into two complementary loans of $500 million each.
  • Through this combined financing of $1 billion, the bank will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), launched in October 2021, to improve the public healthcare infrastructure across the country. 

Better service delivery

  • In addition to the national-level interventions, one of the loans will prioritise health service delivery in seven States — Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The $500-million Public Health Systems for Pandemic Preparedness Programme (PHSPP) will support the government’s efforts to prepare India’s surveillance system to detect and report epidemics of potential international concern.
  • Another $500-million Enhanced Health Service Delivery Programme (EHSDP) will support government’s efforts to strengthen service delivery through a redesigned primary healthcare model, which includes improved household access to primary healthcare facilities, stronger links between each household and its primary care facility through regular household visits and risk assessment of non-communicable diseases.
  • Both the PHSPP and the EHSDP loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have a final maturity of 18.5 years, including a grace period of five years, stated the World Bank.
  • The agreement was signed by Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Auguste Tano Kouamé, country director, India, World Bank.
  • India’s performance in health has improved over time. According to the World Bank estimates, India’s life expectancy has increased from 58 in 1990 to 69.8 in 2020. This is higher than average for the country’s income level.



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