Bangladesh bags record foreign aid in outgoing FY

Bangladesh received a record amount of US$8.42 billion in foreign aid in 11 months of the current fiscal year, 47-percent higher over the previous corresponding period, despite global currency crunch.

Officials Thursday unveiled the eleven-month figure in the FY 2021-22 with a comparative edge over the last FY2021 when the country's foreign development partners had disbursed $5.72 billion worth of medium-to-long-term (MLT) assistance during July-May period.

The development financiers released the highest amount of concessional loans and grants during the period as three major ones-the Asian development Bank (ADB), Japan and the World Bank (WB)-released a significant amount, Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said.

In 12 months of the last fiscal year, the partners had released $7.96 billion, while $7.38 billion in the previous FY2020 and $6.54 billion in FY2019, ERD data showed.

Out of the $8.42 billion aid netted during the July-May period of this FY, the ADB alone released $2.08 billion, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) $1.78 billion and the WB $1.54 billion.

Besides, Russia disbursed $1.15 billion in assistance and China $797 million during the 11 months to May 2022.

The financiers also confirmed a significant amount of MLT loans and grants during the period by signing deals worth $5.91 billion in assistance.

A senior ERD official says, "The aid disbursement may touch $10-billion mark at the end this fiscal as there is a possibility of higher amounts to be released in the last month of the fiscal, June."

According to the ERD official, the government had received $1.13 billion as budgetary support till May.

The development partners disbursed $8.22 billion worth of loans and $188.54 million as grants during the July-May period out of the total $8.42 billion disbursed amount, ERD data showed.

Out of the $5.91 billion worth of aid commitments, the development partners confirmed $5.71 billion in concessional loans and $195.40 million in grants during the 11 months.

Bangladesh's debt servicing had also swelled during the Jul-May period as the country spent $1.88 billion in loan repayments-amid much discussion over the country's foreign-exchange reserves, rising debt-servicing liabilities and current-account deficit with outgoings outstripping incomes.

Out of the debt-servicing amount, $1.42 billion was paid as principal amount and $468.36 million as interest on the outstanding loans till May.