India and World Bank Sign $1 Billion Agreement to Boost Healthcare Infrastructure

India and World Bank Sign $1 Billion Agreement to Boost Healthcare Infrastructure

India’s healthcare infrastructure is set to receive a major boost, as the World Bank and India signed two loans worth $500 million each to enhance the country’s healthcare infrastructure. The combined financing of $1 billion will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM), which was launched in October 2021 to improve the public healthcare infrastructure across the country.


One of the loans will prioritize health service delivery in seven states, including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. The projects aim to increase the resilience and preparedness of India’s health systems against future pandemics, a global public good that has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to World Bank estimates, India’s performance in health has improved over time. The country’s life expectancy was 69.8 in 2020, up from 58 in 1990, which is higher than the average for its income level. The under-five mortality rate, infant mortality rate, and maternal mortality ratio are all close to the average for India’s income level, reflecting significant achievements in access to skilled birth attendance, immunizations, and other priority services.


Despite these advances, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the need for revitalizing, reforming, and developing core public health functions and improving the quality and comprehensiveness of health service delivery.


The agreement was signed by Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, and World Bank India country director Auguste Tano Kouamé, who emphasized the importance of pandemic preparedness and health system strengthening around the world.


The projects will benefit the population of the participating states and generate positive spillovers for other states, which will contribute to the overall improvement of India’s healthcare infrastructure.

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