SHANGHAI, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has approved an emergency assistance loan of 7 billion yuan (about 1 billion U.S. dollars) to China to help the country fight COVID-19, according to the bank's statement released Friday.
The loan will contribute to China's continuous efforts to mitigate the impact of the epidemic on people's health and economic lives.
It is the first emergency assistance program approved by the NDB to support its member countries in the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak and is also the largest single loan issued by the bank so far.
The program will provide financial support for unplanned emergency public health expenditures related to the anti-epidemic fight. The assistance will focus on three Chinese provinces worst hit by the outbreak -- Hubei, Guangdong and Henan.
Headquartered in Shanghai, the NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The bank formally opened on July 21, 2015 in Shanghai.