The foreign aid flow to Bangladesh during the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year (FY18) continued its encouraging trend as it was $824.51 million higher than the corresponding period of the last fiscal year (FY17), reports BSS. According to the Economic Relations Division (ERD), the overall foreign aid disbursement in July-November this year totaled $1,727.69 million against $903.18 million during July-November period in the last fiscal year. Out of the disbursed amount in July-November, the portion of loan was $1,600.95 million while the grant was $126.73 million. The ERD data showed that of the total disbursed amount of $903.18 million aid in July-November in the last fiscal year, the portion of loan was $806.66 million while that of grant was $96.52 million. Against the disbursement, the overall foreign aid commitment for the period of July-November this year was $6,713.89 million of which $6,571.20 million came as commitment for loans while the rest of $142.69 million as grants. However, the foreign aid commitment for July-November period of the last fiscal year was much higher as it then totaled $13,422.77 million including $91.01 million in grants and $13,331.76 million in loans. During this July-November, Bangladesh made a repayment of $524.84 million including $414.62 million in principal amount and $110.21 million in interests. On the other hand, the country made a repayment of $433.08 million in July-November period of the last year including $339.33 million in principal amount and $93.75 million in interests. Talking to the news agency, ERD Additional Secretary Farida Nasreen said that the target of realising foreign aid disbursement in the current fiscal year is around $7 billion. To attain this goal, she said the ERD has been continuing communication with the other ministries and the executing agencies to ensure timely utilisation of the foreign aided projects. “We’re now witnessing higher foreign aid disbursement due to the higher commitments and we’re hopeful of achieving the fiscal target of foreign aid disbursement,” Nasreen added. According to the ERD, the commitments of foreign aid increased to a record high of $17.86 billion in FY17, 153.33 per cent higher than that of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year ($7.05 billion). The increase was mainly due to the single largest $11.36 billion state credit commitment by the Russian government for the Rooppur nuclear power plant project. During the FY16, a total of US $7.05 billion of external assistance was committed. In the FY16, a total amount of $3.56 billion was disbursed of which $530.56 million was grant and $3033.03 million was loan. Of the total amount, food aid and project aid are $31.87 million and $3531.72 million respectively. Multilateral donors disbursed lion’s share of the total disbursement amounting to $2322.28 million and bilateral donor disbursed $1241.31 million. Up to June 30, 2016 a total of about $99.20 billion of external assistance was committed to Bangladesh.