The Financial Express

FY '18 foreign aid flow up by 66pc

Total disbursements exceed $6.0b

| Updated: July 13, 2018 15:46:06

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The flow of foreign aid into Bangladesh surged by a whopping 66 per cent to a record US$6.12 billion during the last fiscal year (FY), the government said.

During FY 2016-17, foreign development partners disbursed $3.67 billion in concessional medium- and long-term assistance.

According to the Economic Relations Division (ERD)'s provisional data, the government received $5.78 billion worth of concessional loan and $340.05 million in grant during the period between July 2017 and June 2018.

The commitment of foreign assistance during the last fiscal stood at US$14.61 billion, the ERD data showed.

Some big credit deals including a $4.5 billion loan package agreement with India, a contract with China for $2.7 billion in loan for the Padma bridge railway link project, and a $1.83 billion package from Japan contributed to the rise in commitment of aid, said an ERD official.

During the same period of FY2017, the commitment was $17.96 billion as the government signed a large $11.38 billion loan deal with Russia for the Rooppur nuclear power plant project.

An ERD joint secretary told the FE that the foreign aid that flowed into the country in the last fiscal was the highest.

Since the commitment of the external aid is rising year-on-year, the foreign aid inflow to Bangladesh would also be increasing resulting in more investments for developing infrastructure, he said.

The amount of foreign aid inflow was almost close to the revised target of $6.40 billion during FY 2018, the official added.

The original target was US$7.0 billion, up by 35 per cent from that of the year-earlier period.

Later in the last quarter of FY2018, the government slashed the original aid target due to slow implementation of some foreign-aided projects.

The joint secretary said the external assistance disbursement could be increased, had the project implementing agencies executed their foreign-funded projects in time.

Bangladesh's key development partners, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agencies), disburse low-cost funds every year for the country's development.

Bangladesh mainly utilises foreign aid to build its infrastructure and cut poverty across the country.



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