AIIB to provide $100m for fighting Covid-19

Staff Correspondent

26 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will provide US$100 million credit to Bangladesh help bear expenditure of various schemes being carried out by the government as emergency Covid-19 response.

The financing will be utilized in the project called ‘COVID-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness Project’ being implemented with funds from the World Bank and AIIB.

A loan agreement was signed between Bangladesh government and AIIB on Friday last, said a release of Economic Relations Division (ERD) on Thursday.

ERD Joint Secretary Md Shahriar Kader Siddiky and Acting Director General of 1nvestment Operations, AIIB, Rajat Misra signed the loan agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

The project has been taken up at the initiative of the Health Services Division and it will be implemented by the Directorate General of Health Services.

The project was approved for implementation in 3 years at the meeting or the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on January 05 this year.

The objective of the project is to support the Government of Bangladesh to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID- 19 and to strengthen its national systems for public health preparedness.

The loan will be co-financed with the World Bank as a lead co-financier. The loan, by virtue of assistance from the Special Fund Window (SFW) facility of All B is repayable in 35 years with a grace period of 05 years.

Under the SFW facility, by availing buy-down option, interest rate of this loan is I .08 percent which is less than usual interest rate of such loan tenure. Payable Front end Fee is 0.25 percent and Commitment Fee on the un-withdrawal loan amount is 0.25 percent.

This project is supported under the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility of AIIB as an investment project.

The project will help the government respond to immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen health systems for pandemic preparedness.

The project is consistent with the country priorities as laid out in the National Action Plan for Health Security and Bangladesh Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19, developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

In addition to scaling up interventions to limit human-to-human transmission, health systems strengthening interventions will be rolled out to improve the country’s capacity to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic and to be better prepared to respond to any future disease outbreaks.