Manila-headquartered Asian Development Bank (ADB) today inked USD 300 million loan pact with the government to support the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).
The NUHM is aimed at improving health status of the country’s urban population.
“The loan — Supporting National Urban Health Mission — will be ADB’s first health project in India and reinforce ongoing government efforts under the NUHM to develop health systems in urban areas that can deliver quality health services that reach the urban poor and vulnerable,” ADB said in a statement.
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“The programme’s due attention to achieving convergence across key sectors that affect urban health, and to actively involve urban local bodies in planning and delivery of urban health services, is commendable,” said Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Finance Ministry, who signed the agreement on behalf of the government.
“The use of ADB’s results-based lending modality will strengthen NUHM systems and overall results orientation, while allowing states the flexibility they need to pursue targets that they need locally,” said M Teresa Kho, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.
Kho signed the agreement on behalf of ADB.
The signatories to the loan also signed the accompanying capacity building technical assistance of USD 2 million, financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.
India is urbanising rapidly, bringing a massive growth of urban poor. Disparities in health status between the poor and non-poor in urban areas are large, due to the adverse living conditions of the urban poor and their limited access to good basic health services, ADB said.
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“There are few preventive and primary health services in urban areas, while millions of people are faced with poverty every year due to high costs related to healthcare,” it added.
The loan from the ADB’s Ordinary Capital Resources has a 20-year, term including a grace period of five years, and an interest rate to be determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility.
Established in 1966, ADB is comprised of 67 members, of which 48 are from the region.
In 2014, ADB assistance totalled USD 22.9 billion, including co-financing of USD 9.2 billion.