Bangladesh to get $100m from World Bank to battle coronavirus

  • Zafar Ahmed, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-03-16 20:34:44 BdST

bdnews24

Bangladesh is set to receive $100 million from the World Bank's allocation of $12 billion in funds for developing countries grappling with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

But whether the funds will be disbursed in the form of a loan or a grant is yet to be decided, according to Md Shahabuddin Patwary, additional secretary to the Economic Relations Division or ERD.

The World Bank and the government are in talks over the funds, said Shahabuddin.

The global lender on Mar 3 announced an initial package of immediate support of up to $12 billion in fast-track grants, loans and low-interest loans to help developing countries provide better access to health services, strengthen disease surveillance and bolster public health interventions.

"We don't know yet if the aid amounts to a grant or loan. But we will request the World Bank authority to make it a grant," said Shahabuddin.

If the fund is provided as a loan, it will have to be repaid over 25 years, including a five-year grace period, on a 2 percent interest rate.