On April 28, 2020, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers meeting on coronavirus was held through video conferencing, which was opened by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. It should be noted that Russia is the Chair of BRICS for 2020.
- From Indian side, it was attended by External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
- Other Participants: Apart from Foreign Ministers from Russia and India, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil Ernesto Araujo, Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi & South Africa’s Minister of International Relations Grace Naledi Pandor also participated.
- Objective: Development of strategic partnership within the BRICS to speed up the joint vaccine production and to combat the virus and overcome the financial, economic, and social consequences of the pandemic.
Key Outcome of Meet: $15bn loan support set up by BRICS
During the BRICS countries have agreed to set up a $15 billion loan instrument to finance projects for the economic rebuilding of member-states impacted by COVID-19 crisis. The fund will be allocated through the New Development Bank (NDB).
- NDB founded by BRICS already fast-tracked financial assistance of about $5 billion to BRICS countries.
Points Highlighted with respect to India during meet
-India is providing pharma assistance to nearly 85 countries on a grant basis to support their response against the coronavirus pandemic.
-India has taken decisive steps early in the wake of the pandemic including launching of Aarogya Setu Citizen App and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.
Financial aids provided to India to tackle COVID-19:
- NDB provided emergency assistance of $1 billion.
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) granted a loan of $1.5 billion.
- World Bank has also approved $1 billion to aid India
A virtual meeting of BRICS Health Officials on COVID-19 pandemic will be held on May 7, 2020 to take the discussion forward in a focused and purposeful manner.
Theme for 2020– “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
President– KundapurVaman Kamath
So far NDB has approved 14 projects in India for an amount of $4,183 million.