Bangladesh and Japan have signed the largest-ever loan deal, amounting to US$ 3.2 billion, to help Bangladesh become a middle-income country
and defeat the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki and ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin signed 'exchange of notes" of the 41st Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan to Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Japan said it will continue to extend its support for the development of Bangladesh as the country is on its way to achieve the highest growth in Asia in this decade of the century.
This year’s loan package comprises assistance of seven projects amounting to JPY 338.247 billion (approximately USD 3.2 billion), the largest ever loan package since its inception in 1974.
Based on this agreement between the two counties, Hayakawa Yuho, Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office and Fatima Yasmin signed a relevant loan agreement, said the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.
Japan has been the single largest bilateral donor for Bangladesh since 2012 and the total amount of its aid as Yen loan has reached US$ 22 billion (commitment base).
The 41st exchange of notes covers the seven major projects.
These are Jamuna Railway Bridge Construction Project (II) (loan amount: 89.016 billion yen), Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion Project (II) (loan amount: 80 billion yen), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (IV) (loan amount: 72.194 billion yen), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 5 Northern Route) (I) (loan amount: 55.696 billion yen), Chattogram – Cox’s Bazar Highway Improvement Project (E/S) (loan amount: 1.906 billion yen), Food Value Chain Improvement Project (loan amount: 11.218 billion yen) and Urban Development and City Governance Project (loan amount: 28.217 billion yen).
The interest rate is 0.65 percent per annum (Part concerning payments to consultants: 0.01% per annum) with a repayment period of 20 years and the grace period of 10 years.
The Japanese government has provided approximately US$ 13 million as the emergency support to tackle COVID-19 in Bangladesh through international organizations as well as provided PPE to hospitals through JICA.
Besides, 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 medical equipment, including CT Scanner, X-ray Machine.
These aids focused on medical and health sectors currently combating the novel coronavirus.
On August 5, both countries signed Exchange of Notes of the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (approximately USD 331 million), which is the first budget support from Japan to Bangladesh.
The purpose of the financial assistance is to provide funding for additional financial expenditure by the government of Bangladesh to implement the economic stimulus package.
Barrister Rumeen Farhana, a BNP MP from reserved seat, has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
“I underwent Covid-19 test as I had been suffering from illness for the last few days. My test results came out positive yesterday (Tuesday),” Rumeen told UNB on Wednesday.
The MP said she is now receiving treatment at home as per doctors’ advice.
She urged all to pray for her speedy recovery.
Rumeen, also assistant international affairs secretary of BNP and daughter of Language Movement hero Oli Ahad, was sworn in on June 9 last year as a member of the 11th Parliament from one of the seats reserved for women.
BNP got one reserved seat for women in proportionate to its five elected parliament members.
The 50 seats kept aside for women are distributed among political parties in proportionate to their number of seats in parliament.
A madrasa student sustained burn injuries after some unidentified miscreants hurled acid on her at Bautia-Narayanpur village in Godagari upazila on Tuesday night.
The victim is Suma Khatun, 15, daughter of Selim Reza, and an Alim student of Bautia Islamia Madrasa.
Md Khairul Islam, officer-in-charge of Godagari Police Station, said that a group of miscreant hurled acid on Suma’s face through window while she was watching television with her aunt.
The injured was admitted at Burn Unit of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
The OC said that a police team visited the spot.
The coronavirus death tally in Bangladesh reached 3,513 on Wednesday with the death of 42 more patients in the last 24 hours.
Besides, 2,995 new cases were confirmed during the period pushing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,66,498.
So far, over 1.3 million samples have been tested -- 14,751 of them in the last 24 hours -- and 20.4 percent have turned out to be positive.
The daily infection rate on Wednesday was 20.3 percent, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said in a press release.
So far, 1,53,089 patients have made full recovery from Covid-19 in Bangladesh, including 1,117 in the last 24 hours.
Five new dengue cases were detected in the last 24 hours until Tuesday morning, the health authorities said.
In a regular update, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said 13 patients are currently undergoing treatment at hospitals.
A total of 378 people were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease since the beginning of this year. Among them, 364 made recovery.
Bangladesh witnessed a massive dengue outbreak last year when 101,354 people were hospitalised and 101,037 made full recovery.
Dengue, killed 179 people last year, according to official figures.