ADB agrees $940m credit to help Bangladesh with coronavirus vaccine, healthcare

  • Zafar Ahmed, Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-04-04 20:13:18 BdST

A health worker prepares a dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University vaccination centre on Thursday, Jan 28, 2021. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to provide Bangladesh with $940 million in loan for coronavirus vaccine doses and healthcare service enhancement.

This is the largest loan support Bangladesh is receiving for the coronavirus vaccine so far.

The Manila-based lender’s Dhaka office recently showed interests in financing the efforts to bring Bangladeshis under COVID vaccination during virtual discussions with the Economic Relations Division, an official said.

The ADB board is expected to approve the funds in April and subsequently sign a deal, said Pear Mohammad, an additional secretary at the ERD.

Half the proposed fund, or $470 million, will be soft loan with 2 percent interest, according to Pear.

The terms for the rest of the funds have not been finalised, but there may be a 0.5 percent commitment charge in addition to the London Inter-bank Offered Rate, or Libor, he said.

Bangladesh will have to repay the loan in 30 years with five years of grace period, according to the proposal.

An ADB official in Dhaka said they were preparing the papers to send to the board.

The World Bank had approved $500 million funds for Bangladesh to buy COVID-19 vaccine doses last month. The deal is expected to be signed shortly.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or AIIB has also agreed to provide $100 million to Bangladesh for the vaccine.