The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a RMB2.49bn (€324m) loan to support China’s public health infrastructure.

The China-backed bank said the outbreak of COVID-19 triggered China’s urgent financial need for support in strengthening its capacity in epidemic prevention and control.

Cities with large floating populations like Beijing and Chongqing have particularly acute financial needs to address such challenges.

AIIB said the loan will help upgrade the country’s sustainable public health infrastructure and provide emergency equipment and supplies in Beijing and Chongqing.

AIIB VP, investment operations, Konstantin Limitovskiy, 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.

“The emergency loan demonstrates AIIB’s agility in responding positively and effectively to its members’ needs during crises.”