Beijing, 19 September 2022 (TDI): China-based Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (AIIB) board of directors have approved a $112 million loan to Fiji to maintain fiscal resilience and to help the country mitigate the effects of Covid-19.

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The AIIB Director-General of the Infrastructure Investment Department (Region 1), Rajat Misra, said, “AIIB is providing support to Fiji’s position in alleviating government fiscal pressures by helping them strengthen the country’s effort to boost health system readiness.”

Moreover, the loan was AIIB’s Covid-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF). It was co-financed by the Asian Development Bank. The Fijian government will use this money to promote climate-resilient economic growth amid the ongoing spread and impact of Covid-19.

Director-General Misra further said, “The program aligns with our CRF’s focus on enhancing pandemic response, preparedness and recovery and it is incumbent upon AIIB to support our members and their most vulnerable people get through this public health challenge.”

In a statement, AIIB said, “The loan would also assist the Fijian government in systematically mainstreaming resilience into its budgeting and decision-making processes.”

AIIB loans

Since the beginning of operations in Beijing in 2016, AIIB has so far approved $223 million in loans to Fiji. In addition, AIIB has also approved 52 projects to support countries like Fiji navigate the challenges of highly uncertain times.

The Program is AIIB’s second financing program for Fiji. In 2020, AIIB provided its first Policy-based Loan to the Government of Fiji for the Sustained Private Sector-Led Growth Reform Program. To date, AIIB has approved USD100 million for the country.

The AIIB said, “Tourism-dependent countries like Fiji have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, as their economies have been adversely affected by global travel restrictions.”

Moreover, AIIB added, “Being heavily reliant on the tourism sector, the government’s spending has been curtailed by constrained fiscal space because of the sharp dent in economic activities due to successive outbreaks and related restrictions on movement and business activities across the Pacific island archipelago.”