Bangladesh received foreign assistance amounting to US$ 6.21 billion in the last fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, which was nearly $150 million lower than that of the previous fiscal, official data showed on Monday.
In FY 18, the overseas development partners disbursed $6.37 billion as concessional medium- and long-term (MLT) assistance.
According to the Economic Relations Division's (ERD) provisional data, the government received $5.94 billion as concessional loan and $256 million as grant from July 2018 to June 2019.
Meanwhile, commitment worth $9.78 billion foreign assistance from different development partners, including the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was received in last FY, the ERD data showed.
Out of the total commitment, the donors confirmed $6.85 billion as loan and $1.255 billion as grant in FY 19.
The significant amount of commitment was recorded, as the government signed a big Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) package deal of $2.5 billion with Japan in June, said an official.
In FY 18, the commitment was $12.27 billion, as the government signed some big loan deals with China and India.
The ERD official told the FE that the $6.21 billion foreign aid inflow to the country in FY 19 was the second highest after the previous fiscal's record inflow of $6.37 billion.
Since the amount of foreign aid commitment to Bangladesh is maintaining a higher trend over the last few years, the amount of foreign aid disbursement is also continuing in a vigorous way, which is playing a vital role in the country's development.
The amount of foreign aid inflow in FY 19 is almost close to its target of $6.35 billion, he added.
Meanwhile, the government repaid $1.56 billion worth of interest and principal against its total outstanding MLT loans to the overseas lenders in last fiscal, the ERD statistics showed.
Out of the payments, it repaid $1.18 billion worth of principal and $387 million worth of interest from July 2018 to June 2019.
In the previous FY, the government repaid debt worth $1.41 billion against its outstanding loans.
Of the payment, it gave $1.11 billion as principal of loans along with $299 million as interest.
Another high official of the ERD told the FE that the volume of external assistance disbursement can be increased, if the government's project implementing agencies can execute their foreign-funded projects in time.
Bangladesh's development partners, including the WB, the ADB, the JICA, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), disbursed concessional aid every year for the country's development.
Bangladesh mainly utilises the foreign aid to build its infrastructure and cut poverty across the country through the annual development programme (ADP).