New Delhi: The BRICS countries on Tuesday agreed to set up a $15 billion loan instrument to finance projects for the economic rebuilding of BRICS countries due to the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. This was among the key outcome of the BRICS Foreign ministers meet that happened via video conference.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who initiated the meet, said, "BRICS agreed to increase bilateral partnership at the international organisations like UN, G20, WHO, WTO, IMF & World Bank. We decided to set up a special loan instrument to finance projects for the economic rebuilding of BRICS countries. In total, we decided to allocate $15 billion...Russia advised about the ideas that we need to jointly respond to the crisis."
BRICS economic experts will meet on April 29 and this will be followed by BRICS health ministers meet on May 7.
India also highlighted the economic impact of the pandemic with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar saying the crisis not only poses a "great risk to the health and well being of humanity but is also severely impacting global economy and output by disruption of global trade and supply chains".
Highlighting how economic activity across sectors has been "negatively impacted leading to loss of jobs and livelihoods", Jaishanker said, "we need to provide support to businesses, especially MSMEs, to tide over the crisis and ensure livelihoods are not lost". He also called for the need for "reform of multilateral systems".
Other BRICS members were also informed about India's actions to deal with the COVID-19 crisis including measures in South Asia with the creation of COVID-19 emergency fund and providing assistance of medicines to 85 countries.
The meet saw the participation of EAM S Jaishankar, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil Ernesto Araujo, China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Minister of International Relations Grace Naledi Pandor.
BRICS bring together 42 per cent of the global population and has evolved rapidly since the first decade of the current century.