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Dhaka Tribune

Foreign aid up 2% in first 5 months of FY14

Update : 29 Dec 2013, 06:17 PM

Foreign aid flow to Bangladesh increased by almost 2% in the first five months of the current fiscal year, despite prolonged political turmoil.

In July-November period of the current fiscal (2013-14) it stood at US$ 987m, a marginal increase of 1.9% or $18m from $969m recorded in the same period a year earlier, according the Economic Relations Division (ERD).

“There is nothing to be happier about it as the foreign aid flow should have been higher at least by $600-$700m during the period,” said former finance adviser to the caretaker government Mirza Azizul Islam.

Islam sees foreign aid flow might take heat of ongoing political unrest in the coming days. “Recent stance of USA and EU countries about the Bangladesh political issue might influence on major donors like World Bank and IMF about aid disbursement,” he said.

The ERD statistics showed that out of total $987m aid flow during the period, the government received $740.8m in loans and $246.7m in grants. Of $1,437.4m aid commitments from the donor agencies, $1,262.5m came in the form of loans and $ 174.9m in grants in first five months of the current fiscal.  

Of the major multilateral and bilateral donors, the World Bank disbursed the highest amount of over $287m as loans and around $55m grants.

The implementation of aid-dependent development projects slowed down due to the ongoing restive politics, which resulted in moderate aid disbursement, said an ERD official.  

The former finance adviser said the project implementation will be slowed down in days to come as supply of administrative machineries will be disrupted by the political programmes. But the aid receiving countries should implement the projects in a speedy manner to get the aid released quickly.

According to the ERD, the government had received foreign assistances of $2.8bn in FY2013 and $2bn in FY12.

The government has set a target of $3.3bn in foreign aid for the current fiscal year to support the socio-economic development of the country. 

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