a year ago

Foreign aid flow still lower

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Foreign aid inflow still maintains a lower trend as it fell by 21 per cent in five months until November than the same period last year, officials said on Wednesday.

The government's tight monetary policy and austerity amid global economic situation have hit the external aid flow hard as Bangladesh received much lower assistance, according to officials and analysts.

Bilateral and multilateral development partners released less aid and also made a poor aid commitment during the July-November period of fiscal year (FY) 2022-23 than the same period in FY22.

Economic Relations Division officials said foreign development partners disbursed $2.46 billion medium- to long-term (MLT) loans and grants in the first five months of FY23 than last fiscal's $3.09 billion.

At the same time, official data showed, they made only $461.31 million worth of aid commitment during the period in question compared to last fiscal's $3.93 billion for the same period.

The country's key development partners, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China, India and Russia, did not make any commitment of foreign aid during this July-November period.

According to analysts, the global economic crisis and the austerity policy in expenditure in the development sector affected aid inflow as government agencies are being discouraged to undertake fresh projects.

The execution of the ongoing foreign-aided projects is also affected due to this austerity, they said.

The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division shows government ministries and agencies implemented only 18.41 per cent of the annual development programme (ADP) during the period under review.

During the same period in FY22, the public agencies executed 18.61 per cent of the ADP.

Among the partners, Japan disbursed the highest amount of assistance during the July-November period followed by China, World Bank (WB), ADB and Russia.

In first five months, Japan released $742.76 million in aid, China $468.70 million, WB $425.42 million, ADB $319.40 million and Russia $198.29 million.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has repaid $880.46-million interest and principal against its outstanding loans during the same period.

In FY22, it repaid $868.25 million against MLT loans.

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