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The Financial Express

Foreign aid pledged for Bangladesh in first half plunges 83pc

| Updated: February 19, 2022 23:46:35


Foreign aid pledged for Bangladesh in first half plunges 83pc

The foreign aid commitment plunged by 83 per cent in the first half (H1) of the current fiscal year (FY) 2021-22, officials said on Wednesday.

Foreign development partners had confirmed US$4.399 billion worth of assistance, $1.99 billion lower than H1 last FY2021, for Bangladesh, Economic Relations Division (ERD) data showed.

"Since there were some big loans signed in H1 last FY2021, the commitment during that period was impressive. In the same period this FY2022, the deal on big loans was limited resulting in lower commitment," said a senior ERD official.

Meanwhile, the government had received an impressive amount of $4.17 billion worth of aid during July-December period of the current FY2022, 39 per cent higher than that in the last FY2021.

In the H1 last fiscal, the multi-lateral and bilateral development partners disbursed $3.00 billion worth of medium- to long-term (MLT) loans and grants, ERD data showed.

Out of the $4.399 billion worth of total commitment, the government signed $4.30 billion worth of loans and $99.7 million grants deals with the development partners including the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan during the H1 of the current fiscal, the ERD data showed.

On the other hand, the development partners disbursed $4.02 billion worth of loans and $148.83 million in grants during July-December period of the current FY2022.

A senior ERD official said the ADB's $940 million financial support for purchasing the Covid-19 vaccines had prompted the foreign aid inflow.

A deputy secretary at the ERD told the FE that the foreign aid disbursement in the first five months of the current FY2022 was impressive as the ADB had already released $1.44 billion worth of loans.

Of the total ADB assistance, some $840 million fund was disbursed for procuring Covid-19 vaccines from the overseas market, he added.

Besides, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) disbursed more than $500 million worth of loans and grants, China $400 million loans during Jul-Dec period of the current FY2022 against different ongoing development projects in the country.

Meanwhile, the government repaid $1.04 billion worth of interests and principals for its total outstanding loans during July-December period of the current FY2022.

Out of the repaid amount, the government repaid $781.05 million as the principal of the outstanding loans while $259.32 million as the interest to the overseas lenders, the ERD data showed.

In the same period last FY2021, a total of $900.02 million worth of interests and principals of the outstanding loans was repaid, the data showed.

Out of the amount, the government repaid $661.89 million fund as the principal and $238.39 million as the interest for the outstanding loans.

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