WB likely to give $4.5b aid to BD in three years

WB likely to give $4.5b aid to BD in three years

It’ll finalise IDA-19 funding by December

FHM Humayan Kabir | Financial Express  July 26, 2019

Reuters file photo

The World Bank (WB) is likely to provide some US$ 4.5 billion assistance to Bangladesh in next three years, officials said early this week.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said the Washington-based lender is going to finalise its global aid package (IDA-19) by this year-end.

In the package, the WB is expected to increase Bangladesh’s aid volume by $200 to $300 million to $4.5 billion for the tenure ranging from fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 to FY 2022-23.

The WB has already kept aside $4.2 billion aid for Bangladesh in its ongoing three-year International Development Association (IDA)-18 package, whose tenure will end in June 2020.

The ERD Additional Secretary Md Zahidul Haque said, “We participated at the IDA-19 replenishment meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last month. We are expecting that the WB will provide nearly $4.5 billion to Bangladesh.”

He also said the country will get confirmation about its total aid package for the next three years after the WB’s finalisation of IDA-19 package in December.

“There will be another IDA-19 replenishment meeting during the annual meeting of the WB-International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington in October. Later, in the next meeting in December, the package is expected to be finalised.”

“We shared our experiences regarding fund utilisation and outcome at the WB meeting in Ethiopia. We also sought higher funds from the global lender under IDA-19 aid package,” he added.

Another senior official said Bangladesh needs increased investment for its infrastructure and energy sector development as well as for establishing higher regional connectivity. So, it will request the WB and other donors to increase their aid flow to the country.

Sources said the WB is expected to mobilise some $80-85 billion funds for its IDA-19 aid package.

The Washington-based lender has mobilised $75 billion in its current IDA-18 aid package for the period ranging from FY 2018 to FY 2020 for facilitating development projects of its member countries across the globe.

IDA is a soft funding window of the WB. The donor, at the terminal year of every three-year aid package, finalises its new funding package for the subsequent three years.

Usually, the WB sits with its donor countries for replenishing the three-year aid package. Besides, it also sits with some important borrower countries to take their opinions on IDA portfolio.

The WB’s key donors are the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) states and some other developed countries, including the UK, the US, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Japan.

Bangladesh is currently borrowing IDA loans at 2.0 per cent interest rate with a 30-year maturity period. The donor also provides five years grace period for repaying loans.



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