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BRICS New Development Bank Offers Brazil COVID-19 relief
July 21, 2020, 5:47 pm

Brazil has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world  

Jair Bolsonaro, right, was recently diagnosed with COVID-19 [Brazil Gov]

The Board of Directors of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) approved a COVID-19 Emergency Program Loan of $1 billion to the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil on July 20, 2020. On the same day, four of the BRICS countries occupied the top five positions in terms of number of cases with the US at the top. Brazil was second with 2, 121, 645 cases, India third with 1, 156, 189 cases, Russia fourth with 777, 486 cases and South Africa fifth with 373. 628 cases according to Worldometers data. China, where the pandemic originated, was 26th with 83, 693 cases.

The loan provided by the NDB will help Brazil safeguard the income of about 5 million people in vulnerable situations, including informal, self-employed and unemployed workers. The basic income guaranteed by the program allows the most economically vulnerable families to gain increased access to food and health-related goods, such as medicines and personal hygiene products, which are vital for the prevention and containment of COVID-19.

The loan will also help the Government of Brazil to ensure that strong fiscal support is in place to combat the outbreak and that priority investment projects will be implemented, thereby contributing to the economic recovery of the country.

NDB’s project in Brazil supplements emergency loans provided by five other multilateral development banks and development agencies – the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the German Development Bank (KfW), and the French Development Agency (AFD) – who joined efforts to provide USD 4 billion of financing, to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 Emergency Program Loan to Brazil will contribute to the country’s ongoing efforts to strengthen social safety nets and address immediate socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly on the most vulnerable population in Brazil,” said Mr. Marcos Troyjo, President of the NDB.

The loan marks the NDB’s fourth emergency assistance program to combat COVID-19, following similar loans to China, India, and South Africa, and thus raises NDB’s financial support against COVID-19 to the level of USD 4 billion. It is also NDB’s biggest loan approval to Brazil so far, thus contributing to expanding the share of loan approvals in the country from 8.4% of the NDB’s total portfolio, to 13%.

Helmo Preuss in Makhanda, South Africa for The BRICS Pos