The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement with India to lend $300 million to support the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), which is aimed at improving the health status of the country’s urban population.
The loan will reinforce ongoing government efforts to develop health systems in urban areas that can deliver quality services and reach the urban poor and vulnerable sections. It will focus on strengthening primary healthcare and promote better coordination between health and urban sectors and opportunities for public-private partnerships.
“The programme’s due attention to achieving convergence across key sectors that affect urban health, and to actively involve urban local bodies in planning and delivery of urban health services, is commendable,” said Raj Kumar, joint secretary in the department of economic affairs of the finance ministry. Kumar signed the agreement on behalf of the government.
“The use of ADB’s results-based lending modality will strengthen NUHM systems and overall results orientation, while allowing states the flexibility they need to pursue targets that they need locally,” said M. Teresa Kho, country director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed the agreement on behalf of ADB.
N.B. Dhal, joint secretary of NUHM at the health ministry, signed the project document on behalf of his ministry. The signatories to the loan also signed the accompanying capacity building technical assistance of $2 million, financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.
Significant capacity building and mechanisms for learning and innovation are also in-built to enhance NUHM systems, management capacity and implementation processes.