The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a sovereign backed loan of 2.485 billion yuan (about 355 million U.S. dollars) to help upgrade China’s sustainable Public Health Infrastructure and provide emergency equipment and supplies amid the COVID-19 Outbreak.

The project, to be supported by the AIIB’s First Emergency assistance loan, aims to strengthen the public health emergency response capacity in the Chinese municipalities of Beijing and Chongqing, according to the bank.

The loan will support the upgrade of the two cities’ respective centres for disease control and prevention, enhance the treatment capacity of medical institutions in dealing with epidemic emergencies and provide emergency equipment and supplies to frontline public health workers to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19, it said.

“AIIB’s response underscores the importance of building resilient public health infrastructures and maintaining robust systems for members to effectively mitigate risks to their populations associated with outbreaks of communicable disease,” said Konstantin Limitovskiy, AIIB Vice President in Charge of Investment Operations.

Headquartered in Beijing, the AIIB began operations in January 2016. It is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia.