The Asian Development Bank has agreed to extend $940 million in loan to Bangladesh to enhance the country’s Covid-19 response, reported Bdnews24
The Asian Development Bank has agreed to extend $940 million in loan to Bangladesh to enhance the country’s Covid-19 response, reported Bdnews24. This is the largest credit line Bangladesh has received so far for its pandemic response.
The report says half of the proposed fund, $470 million, will be in form of a soft loan with 2 percent interest rates. The country will have 30 years to repay the debt, with 5 years as a grace period. However, the two sides are yet to finalize the terms and conditions.
The ADB board is expected to approve the funds in April and subsequently sign a deal, Pear Mohammad, an additional secretary at the Economic Relation Division of the country’s finance ministry, was quoted as saying by bdnews24.
So far the Bangladesh government has signed agreements for $600 million funding from the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Both lenders have agreed to provide $500 million and $100 million respectively to support the country’s fight against the pandemic.
This came when the cases of Covid-19 infections are increasing in the country, and authorities have already started taking bold measures, including a weeklong nationwide lockdown, to slow down the pace of infections.
The government is also worried about the shipment of vaccines from the SII. As per the agreement signed with the firm, Bangladesh was expected to receive 5 million doses per month. However, the delivery of the same is being delayed given the rising domestic demand for vaccines in India itself.
According to a report in the Daily Star, the Bangladeshi government is in touch with the Chinese and Russian embassies in the country to explore the possibility of acquiring their vaccines.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Bangladesh Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, “I personally spoke to the Chinese and the Russian ambassadors recently. I informed them that Bangladesh wants to procure vaccines from them.”
“We asked them to let us know the price, quantity, terms and conditions, and how long it will take them to supply,” he said.
Experts in the country also suggested diversifying the supply lines of vaccines.