India is all set to host the virtual health secretary-level meeting with the member countries of the SAARC. The virtual meeting will be held on 18th February 2021. During the virtual meeting the members countries will discuss the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Pakistan has also been invited to attend the meeting.

Points To Note

  • The health secretary-level meeting will discuss the challenges and development associated with the COVID-19 management and response to the COVID-19.
  • The members countires will exchange the best practices with respect to the ongoing pandemic.

Backdrop

PM Modi had also proposed a Coronavirus Emergency Fund COVID-19 crisis. for the SAARC region by March 2020 during a video conference of the SAARC Heads of State.

Coronavirus Emergency Fund for SAARC countries

  • This Fund was set up by the SAARC members countries in order to response to the COVID-19.
  • This fund was created with the aim of mitigating the risks associated with the COVID-19 in the South Asian region.
  • India had proposed to contribute $10 million for the fund.
  • The Other member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) also supported this move of creating the fund proposed by the PM Modi.

India’s Support to neighbors countries

India was and is still at the forefront in the fight against the ongoing coronavirus. India has also emerged as the country with the highest number of vaccinations. So, India is also at the forefront in providing the indigenously developed coronavirus vaccines to the countries either as gift or on commercial line. Recently India has gifted 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan, 20,00,000 lakh doses to Bangladesh, 1700,000 doses to Myanmar, 500,000 doses to Sri Lanka, 1.5 lakh doses to Bhutan, 100,000 doses to each of Mauritius & Maldives, 10,00,000 doses to Nepal and 50,000 doses to Seychelles.

SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation)

This grouping comprises of the countries like Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. SAARC was founded on 8th December 1985. SAARC headquarter located in Nepal’s Kathmandu. It comprises of 3 per cent of world’s area.

India to host SAARC Virtual Meeting