April 22, 2024, 11:45 am

Staff Correspondent

2023-02-04 06:27:05 BdST

Bangladesh receives $476m of IMF loan as 1st installment

Bangladesh has received the first installment of $476 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) out of the $4.7 billion loan package.

"Bangladesh Bank (BB) received IMF's first installment on Thursday," BB Executive Director and Spokesman Mezbaul Haque said.

IMF approved Bangladesh's $4.7 billion loan proposal during a board meeting on Monday. The remaining amount will be in six equal installments of $704 million each.

Bangladesh will get about $3.3 billion under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and about $1.4 billion under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF), according to an IMF press release issued on 31 January.

With the approval of a $1.4 billion loan under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF), Bangladesh became the first country in Asia to receive a loan from the fund created for low and middle-income countries that are at risk due to climate change.  

According to a press release from IMF on January 31, the 42-month program will help preserve macroeconomic stability, protect the vulnerable, and foster inclusive and green growth. Reforms will focus on creating fiscal space to enable greater social and developmental spending; strengthening the financial sector; modernizing policy frameworks; and building climate resilience.

IMF said Bangladesh's robust economic recovery from the pandemic has been interrupted by Russia's war in Ukraine, leading to a sharp widening of Bangladesh's current account deficit, depreciation of the Taka and a decline in foreign exchange reserves.

The authorities have taken on a comprehensive set of measures to deal with these latest economic disruptions.  

The authorities recognize that in addition to tackling these immediate challenges, long-standing structural issues and vulnerabilities related to climate change will also need to be addressed to accelerate growth, attract private investment, enhance productivity, and build climate resilience," it added.

The IMF-supported program under the ECF/EFF arrangements will help preserve macroeconomic stability and prevent disruptive adjustments to protect the vulnerable while laying the foundations for strong, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable growth.

The concurrent RSF arrangement will supplement the resources made available under the ECF/EFF to expand the fiscal space to finance climate investment priorities identified in the authorities' plans, help catalyze additional financing, and build resilience against long-term climate risks.

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