ADB ready to extend Bangladesh assistance for Rohingyas

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Dhaka, November 06: Bangladesh is planning to seek financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Rohingya people as the bank has expressed its readiness to provide Bangladesh the support on the issue.“We have already sought financial assistance from the World Bank for Rohingyas who have taken shelter here. We will also seek financial support from the ADB and before doing so, we will have to make projects to get the support,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith told journalists after a meeting with ADB team at the finance ministry here today, BSS reported.

ADB South Asia Director General Hun Kim led the team. The other members of the team were new ADB Country Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash and Deputy Country Director Cai Li.

Till now, Muhith said, the government did not make any request to ADB for financial assistance for Rohingyas.

Responding to a question, Muhith said, the Rohingya crisis would not create much pressure on the national budget in the current fiscal.

“We are allocating money for the different departments on Rohingya issues as per their demands. The assistance from different countries and agencies are quite good,” he added.

The finance minister said the government did not make any estimate on the cost for Rohingyas, but a possible estimate will have to be made soon.

Talking to the reporters, Hun Kim said ADB is ready to stand beside Bangladesh on the issue of Rohingya.

“ADB stands ready to support Bangladesh when the government will make a request. We are waiting to know the government’s position,” he added.

He said the financial support is likely to be in form of grant but the bank will have to find a way to provide the support as a grant.

“We expect the support will primarily be a grant. But as you know ADB is a bank, in such a situation, we have to find a way to mobilize grant,” he added.

During the meeting, he said, ADB team informed the finance minister that the government can take credit from ADB at least US$1.5 billion per year for the next five years.

The amount will be above $8 billion under the new five year plan, he added.