South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation commonly known as SAARC nations have joined hands in fighting Coronavirus, Various members of the group have pledged funds to combat the pandemic. This comes after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced an initial contribution of USD 10 million.
An association of South Asian nations - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India Maldives. Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - SAARC have announced their contributions in fighting Coronavirus. The contribution kicked off with Prime Minister Modi pledging fund and calling for cooperation. On 15 March, heads of all member countries except Pakistan discussed the situation with Prime Minister through a video conference meeting. In that meet, PM Modi was the first to take initiative and announce India's contribution in dealing with the crisis.
India's pledge to battle corona was a contribution made voluntarily and was not an obligation. However, other member countries have followed India's footsteps and loosened their purse strings. Latest to have announced funding is Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government has announced USD 1.5 million to get a note of appreciation from PM Modi.
Grateful to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh for announcing $ 1.5 million as contribution to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Through our solidarity and working together, we will overcome challenges posed by COVID-19.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 23, 2020
He also thanked Sri Lanka for making a similar announcement. ''Sincerely thank President of Sri Lanka
@GotabayaR for contributing $ 5 million to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Our cooperation will go a long way in fighting this disease effectively'' tweeted the Indian Prime Minister. He also thanked the Afghan government for their contribution.
Thank you Afghanistan, for contributing $ 1 Million to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund in solidarity with our South Asian neighborhood. Tashakkur President @ashrafghani.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 23, 2020
Countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives have already announced their contributions to the SAARC Corona Fund. However, Pakistan has not pledged any fund for the same. In fact, during the SAARC leaders' video conference meet, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was missing. He was represented by his special adviser Zafar Mirza.