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

Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Ito Naoki and Secretary to Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance Fatima Yasmin on Wednesday signed exchange of notes of 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, approximately US$ 330 million, with very favorable terms (0.01% interest rate and an 11-year repayment period after the grace period of four years), said the Embassy.


The government of Japan hopes that spread of the coronavirus in Bangladesh will be brought to an end soon and that the financial support will contribute to a return to the remarkable development of Bangladesh over the past decade.


The loan will be cofinanced with ADB to enable rapid and effective utilization of the loan to counter the new corona.


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


Additionally, on July 16, Japan and Bangladesh signed the Exchange of Notes on Japanese Grant aid “Economic and Social Development Programme”(approximately USD 10 million) for the medical equipment including CT Scanner, X-ray Machine.


These aids are focused on the medical and health sectors currently combating the novel coronavirus.


The purpose of the financial assistance signed today 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.


Source: United News of Bangladesh