Donors disbursed development assistance worth US$5.21 billion in 11 months (July-May) of fiscal year (FY) 2018-19, up 11 per cent compared to the same period of the previous fiscal, official data showed on Monday.
During the same period of FY 2017-18, the foreign development partners had made available $4.69 billion in concessional medium- and long-term (MLT) assistance.
According to the Economic Relations Division (ERD)'s provisional data, the development partners provided $4.97 billion in concessional loans and $238.90 million as grant during the period from July 2018 to May 2019.
However, the commitment of foreign assistance for the July-May period of the outgoing FY '19 was US$6.22 billion, the ERD data show.
Of the $6.22 billion external aid commitment, $5.03 billion was earmarked as loans and the remaining $1.18 billion as grants.
For the same period of FY '18, the development partners made a commitment of making available $11.27 billion in aid.
The donors' commitment in relation to aid for FY '18 was much bigger due to some big credit deals, including $4.5 billion loan package deal with India, $2.7 billion loan agreement with China for the Padma Bridge railway link project, and $1.83 billion loan package deal with Japan, said an ERD official.
The disbursement of external assistance could increase further if the project implementing agencies can expedite the execution of foreign-funded projects, he said.
Bangladesh's development partners, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), UK's donor agency DFID, and the Islamic Development Bank, disburse concessional aid every year for the development projects of the country.
Bangladesh utilises the foreign aid mostly to implement infrastructure projects and reduce poverty level in the country.