BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a loan of 661.8 million euros (about 750 million U.S. dollars) to provide budgetary support to Kazakhstan in fighting COVID-19.
The loan will finance Kazakhstan's COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program, which supports the country's immediate COVID-19 health policy response, social protection and employment recovery measures, as well as stimulus measures, AIIB said Monday in a statement on its website.
Funded by AIIB's Crisis Recovery Facility and co-financed with the Asian Development Bank, the financing will fund measures to mitigate the impacts of higher food prices on vulnerable groups, an increase in social payments, new tax incentives to alleviate the financial burden of businesses and cash payments to the unemployed, the AIIB said.
Without a fiscal response, the economy of Kazakhstan is expected to contract in real terms by 5.5 percent in 2020, while poverty rates may reach 11-13 percent from the current 6.6 percent level, according to the statement.
As of end-June 2020, AIIB has approved a total of 13 projects amounting to over 5.5 billion dollars to support 11 members to navigate the challenges brought by the pandemic.