The New Development Bank (NDB) – formerly called the BRICS Development Bank will be giving South Africa a US$1 billion loan to help the country fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to a statement published by National Treasury on Saturday morning, the NDB board approved this Emergency Assistance Program Loan to South Africa on Friday.
"National Treasury welcomes the approval of the loan and together with NDB are working on final technical and administrative requirements. Final details on the loan will be published once all processes have been concluded," said Treasury in a statement.
In a separate statement, the NDB said it wanted to help SA roll out better healthcare response and to provide a social safety net to most vulnerable individuals who've borne the brunt of the economic mayhem that Covid-19 has caused in the country.
"The Program envisages preventing, detecting and responding to the health threat posed by Covid-19, and providing social grants to vulnerable groups affected by measures implemented to prevent and contain the disease," wrote the NDB in its statement.
The bank established an Emergency Assistance Facility to help its member countries which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA. It said the Emergency Program Loan to South Africa is the third to be approved by its board in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The bank provided these emergency loans to China and India earlier this year.