SAARC’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund

The Indian Prime Minister recently showed appreciation for the contribution of the SAARC members’ contribution to the Emergency Fund to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Fund

The SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund was announced during the SAARC video conference meeting among the member nations’ leaders on March 15th. The common fund is for purchasing the medical supplies and equipment urgently needed for tackling the COVID-19 outbreak in the region. Contributions to the fund are to be voluntary.

Contributions to the Fund

India announced the fund with an initial contribution of 10 million USD. Though the contributions were made voluntary, all SAARC members except Pakistan had contributed to it. The contributions were from Sri Lanka (5 million USD), Bangladesh (1.5 million USD), Nepal (1 million USD), Afghanistan (1 million USD), Maldives (200,000 USD) and Bhutan (100,000 USD).

SAARC Health Professionals Meeting

The leaders also scheduled a video conference meeting of the SAARC senior health professionals to be held on March 26th. The meeting would involve discussions on online training capsules for emergency response teams, establishment of an Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal, a Common Research Platform, plan of coordinating research in the South Asian region to tackle the outbreak, etc.

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