Why in News?
- In the global war against the COVID-19, emerging economies, many belonging to BRICS, have reached out to other countries affected by the pandemic.
Response by BRICS Countries During the Pandemic: India:
- India has reinforced its credentials as a Rapidly emerging Pharmacy of the world.
- Export of Hydroxychloroquine:
- As the world’s largest producer of hydroxychloroquine, we have recently exported the drug not only to SAARC countries and to its “extended neighbourhood” in the Gulf, but also to Russia, Brazil, Israel and the U.S.
- These steps taken have set the stage for India to create an inclusive BRICS-driven pharma alliance, which could also actively explore the production of vaccines.
- China has also responded strongly in containing the pandemic, leveraging its position as the workshop of the world.
- China has supplied the “hardware” i.e masks, gloves, coveralls, shoe covers and testing kits to hotspots worldwide.
- Under its Health Silk Road doctrine, the Chinese reached out to two of the worst global hotspots, Italy and Iran.
- A Chinese shipment which included essential supplies and equipment, including respirators, protective suits, masks and medications has been sent to Italy.
- China is running a medical air bridge bound for Europe.
- Russia has sent its doctors and virologists overseas, including the launch of the famous ‘From Russia with love’ air mission to Italy.
- A Russian Antonov-124, packed with medical supplies and experts, landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport recently.
- Russia is equipped with top-of-the-line emergency services, which are equipped to handle any kind of emergency.
- As being the current rotating head of the African Union, it is engaged in framing a pan African response to COVID-19.
- Among the BRICS countries, only Brazil’s response may need a course correction, as its resistance to breaking the infection chains through travel bans, lockdowns, isolation and testing appears to have led to an infection surge.
Coordination of Efforts to Tackle the pandemic:
- BRICS nations have already demonstrated their comparative strengths as providers of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
- BRICS countries now need to pool and coordinate their efforts, in partnership with the WHO, and Europe and North America, as part of a global assault on the virus.
- Special focus on vulnerable countries:
- BRICS nations may have to reactivate an existing disaster response mechanism, and earmark resources and assets to combat a whole range of natural disasters, with special attention towards the emerging economies and the global south.
Financial Allocation Model:
- The New Development Bank of the BRICS countries has already demonstrated the way forward to allocate financial resources to combat COVID-19.
- NDB has already disbursed a $1 billion emergency loan to China, and subsequently to India, South Africa and Brazil,
- Also the NDB had the Financial heft to Provide $10 billion in “crisis-related assistance” to BRICS member countries.
- The NDB’s Financial Model, Demonstrated to address the pandemic, can now become a template to Address Natural Disasters.