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Bangladesh, Japan sign exchange of notes on emergency support to tackle COVID-19

  • Published at 12:31 am August 6th, 2020
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki, with Secretary of Economic Relations Division Fatima Yasmin at the signing of exchange of notes in Dhaka on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - UNB
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki, with Secretary of Economic Relations Division Fatima Yasmin at the signing of exchange of notes in Dhaka on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 UNB

The loan will be co-financed with ADB to enable rapid and effective utilization of the loan to counter the novel coronavirus

Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Ito Naoki and Secretary to Economic Relations Division of the Ministry of Finance Fatima Yasmin on Wednesday signed an exchange of notes on the Covid-19 crisis response emergency support loan as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan to Bangladesh. 

This financial assistance is provided in the form of a loan through JICA, in the amount of 35 billion yen or approximately $330 million with 0.01% interest rate and an 11-year repayment period after the grace period of four years, said the Embassy. 

The government of Japan hoped that spread of the coronavirus in Bangladesh would end soon and that the financial support would contribute to a return to the remarkable development of Bangladesh over the past decade. 

The loan will be co-financed with ADB to enable rapid and effective utilization of the loan to counter the novel coronavirus. 

Earlier, the government of Japan provided approximately $13 million as an emergency support to tackle Covid-19 in Bangladesh through international organizations, and provided PPE to hospitals through JICA. 

On July 16, Japan and Bangladesh signed the exchange of notes on Japanese grant aid "Economic and Social Development Program"(approximately $10 million) for medical equipment including CT scanners and x-ray machines. 

This aid is focused on the medical and health sectors currently combating the novel coronavirus. 

The purpose of the financial assistance signed on Wednesday is to provide funding for additional financial expenditure by the Government of Bangladesh to implement the economic stimulus package. 

Unlike project loans, which are commonly used, this aid is very flexible in its use with the only conditions being a prohibition on items such as military use, said the Embassy. 

 This is the first time in the history of ODA that such a loan has been provided in this form for the continuation of the Government of Bangladesh. 

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