ADB has provided holistic support to India’s COVID-19 response since the pandemic outbreak in 2020. ADB’s initial $1.5 billion assistance supported the country’s immediate fiscal response to counter and mitigate the adverse health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic. ADB’s financial and technical assistance supported the government’s pandemic containment plan that included upgrading hospital facilities and enhancing the test-track-treatment capacity while supporting social protection measures for the poor, women and other vulnerable sections. This was complemented by the ADB support to accelerate India’s large vaccination program with a $1.5 billion financing to purchase safe and effective vaccines to protect people from the pandemic-related risks. In the next phase, ADB’s focus is to alleviate the pandemic’s long-term effects and support the country’s fast economic recovery. To this end, ADB is expanding assistance to protect small businesses, strengthen primary health care in urban areas and underpin education, social protection and infrastructure development.


Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact people’s health, public health systems, economies, education and other social spheres.

Text: Deadly COVID-19 disease detected in the country in February 2020

India was one of the hardest hit.

Text: Initially, the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the economy and lives of the people

Many people suffered and thousands died.

Text: ADB-Government of India partnership to fight COVID-19 pandemic

As it managed the pandemic, India partnered with the Asian Development Bank to strengthen its response.

ADB works with its developing members to promote social inclusion and build resilience, particularly for the vulnerable members of society.

Text: $1.5 billion ADB loan to support the government’s emergency measures

In April 2020, ADB swiftly approved a $1.5 billion loan bto help fund public emergency measures.

Text: The focus is on improving health facilities

This helped improve health facilities for testing and patient care to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Text: Support to government program for vulnerable groups affected by national lockdown

It also supported the government stimulus program to protect the poor, women and vulnerable groups affected by the national lockdown.

The program provided free food grains, free cooking gas cylinders, cash, support for rural employment and social security measures.

Text: Additional ADB grant to help the government target the recipients better

An additional ADB grant helped the government agencies identify beneficiaries more efficiently.

Sarita Kanojiya, Wage Worker, Staff Quarters, Village Gejha, NOIDA:

I had to face many challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There was a lockdown and we could not venture outside due to that.

Our household budget was completely upset.

We could not arrange supplies from outside and cooking food became difficult.

The government gave us free rations and cooking gas cylinders and we felt relieved and were able to survive.

Munni Devi, Housewife, Village Miyaganj, Uttar Pradesh:

The pandemic caused a lot of problems for us.

There was a lockdown and curfew.

We could not get anything to eat or drink… we could not go out.

Then the government took note and supplied us will all kinds of provisions – rations, cooking oil, rice, flour… everything.

Text: Central COVID-19 ‘War Room’ to monitor outbreaks and deploy control measures

ADB’s assistance also strengthened disease containment to monitor outbreak trends and plan appropriate measures.

A central COVID-19 war room in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been established.

Text: Prioritizing safety through PPEs, training, and thermal scanners at airports

To equip frontline workers, personal protective equipment, thermal scanners and online training modules were provided.

Text: Community awareness campaigns organized

And to strengthen public health and safety awareness, campaigns were organized in metro cities and urban slums.

Usha Rani, Community health worker:

COVID-19 took us by surprise.

Then the government provided us with safety kits, and personal protective equipment that helped us do our jobs and made us feel protected and safe.

To help prevent the spread of the disease, we visited slums and other communities to raise awareness on health and safety measures.

Takeo Konishi, Country Director, Asian Development Bank, India:

Since the pandemic outbreak, ADB has provided holistic support to India’s pandemic responses.

In the initial phase, the support focused on ramping up the country’s healthcare facilities and social protection measures for the poor and vulnerable.

In the next phase, we are focusing on projects and programmes that support India’s post-COVID economic recovery.

These efforts are complemented by ADB’s support to accelerate India’s large vaccination program (Text: $1.5 billion ADB assistance to India’s vaccination program) with a $1.5 billion assistance to purchase effective and safe vaccines. This will protect the people from COVID-19 related risks and increase their confidence to resume their normal activities under the new situation.

Text: Expanding assistance to support India’s economic recovery

Long-term solutions are being rolled out to help India’s economic recovery.

Text: Support to micro, small, and medium enterprises

Small businesses will be supported to protect and help them resume regular operations.

Text: Strengthen primary health care

Primary healthcare in urban areas will be strengthened.

Text: Improve education, social protection and infrastructure development

More support will be dedicated to education, social protection, and infrastructure development to ensure protection and resilience from future disruptions and diseases.

ADB responds to emergency situations as much as it is a reliable partnerfor achieving long-term development goals of its developing members.