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Bangladesh—From Seeking to Donating Aid


Jul 20, 2018

Bangladesh—From Seeking to Donating Aid​

John Rozario
May 18, 2022

Bangladesh’s medical and financial aid to Sri Lanka improves the country’s image and standing. Bangladesh was once regarded as a “bottomless pit” and a recipient of international aid. It is now a lending and donor country. It demonstrates how all of South Asia’s countries can rise from the ashes. Bangladesh sets an example for South Asia on how to achieve economic growth while balancing diverse socio-political factors. Debt-ridden Bangladesh has achieved extraordinary debt alleviation success in recent years.

Bangladesh had demonstrated its worth as a donor country by assisting Sri Lanka with medical needs. It has the honour of standing by Sri Lanka during times of crisis as a friend and close neighbour. It has provided emergency medicines worth 2.32 million USD.

The two countries would celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations this year.

In this regard, a ceremony was held on Thursday at the State Guest House Padma, during which Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque presented Professor Sudharshan D S Seneviratne with a few boxes of medicine as a token.

The help to Sri Lanka and Sudan from foreign exchange reserves has improved Bangladesh’s image.

Foreign Minister D Momen described the offer of medicine as a sign of solidarity and goodwill between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as the two countries celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations.

What occurred, though, that Bangladesh has been surprising everyone? Economists think there are some causes behind this: exports, societal progress and economic foresight. Aside from economic skill, there are three more factors to consider: sympathy, economic diplomacy, and political will.

Sudan, according to Bangladesh’s finance minister, is severely in debt and impoverished. The government expects that the funds will help Sudan battle poverty. Sudan used to be a British colony. A treaty gave the country independence on January 1, 1956. It should be noted that Bangladesh also gave more than Tk 80 million to Somalia, another African country, last year. This was also true in terms of repaying the IMF loan. Sudan, a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is beset by debt and poverty, and financial aid is expected to aid in its recovery.

As part of the IMF effort, Bangladesh also gave Tk 80 million to help Somalia tackle poverty last year. The progress of Bangladesh fascinates everyone.

When this was the situation, the unexpected news came that Bangladesh had supplied Sri Lanka with $200 million in financial aid. The topic has been posed in the Sri Lankan media: if Bangladesh can be self-sufficient, why can’t we?

The help to Sri Lanka and Sudan from foreign exchange reserves has improved Bangladesh’s image and increased esteem for its people. Bangladesh has become a leading nation! Why can’t others emulate Bangladesh’s ability to be self-sufficient, a lender, and an economic miracle in South Asia? He went on to say that, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s capable leadership, Bangladesh never hesitated to offer aid to any country in need, particularly its neighbours, to ensure shared peace and development in the South Asian area. He stated that Bangladesh was ready to assist Sri Lanka in every way feasible.

During his remarks, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner conveyed his gratitude to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government. He extended his gratitude to Prime Minister Hasina for this goodwill gesture. He stated that Sri Lanka enjoyed a good relationship with Bangladesh and was dedicated to further enhancing it in the coming days. He described the medication gifting as yet another sign that the bilateral relationship was on the right track.

Both EDCL and BAPI have given Sri Lanka medicine worth BD taka 10 crores apiece, totalling Taka 20 crores. The drugs should arrive in Sri Lanka within a few days.

The offer of medicine displays the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to provide high-quality medicine as well as its financial capacity, and it also demonstrates Bangladesh’s foreign policy resolve to preserve friendly and cooperative relations with its neighbours.

Bangladesh had already helped Sri Lanka by providing $ 200 million through a currency swap.

Bangladesh’s image and respect for its people have improved as a result of its financial support to Sri Lanka and Sudan from its foreign exchange reserves. Bangladesh has also agreed to help Afghanistan with medical assistance. Bangladesh promised humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people in December 2021, while also expressing profound concern about the approaching economic and humanitarian crises in Afghanistan. According to the Foreign Ministry, Pakistan issued a humanitarian aid package in the form of food and medicine assistance during the 17th emergency session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers on the Afghanistan crisis in Islamabad, Pakistan. Bangladesh has now also offered medical assistance.

Greatest humanitarian example?
When Bangladesh joyfully accepted 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, it solidified its image as a humanitarian nation. Despite several diplomatic efforts, the repatriation of Rohingyas has taken a long time. Because Bangladesh is already overcrowded, the flow of Rohingya migrants from Myanmar to Bangladesh posed several geopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges. Despite the significant strain on the economy, food management, limited resources, and other situations, Bangladesh continues to generously welcome the world’s largest and expanding refugee community. Bangladesh planned to move some Rohingyas to Bhashanchar on its own dime as part of the Ashrayan 3 Project to improve their living conditions. Furthermore, Bangladesh has had a remarkable track record of development and progress over the last decade, making it better capable of assisting other countries in need.

There are thousands of more cases where Bangladesh was one of the first countries to join the international community. Medical aid supplied by Bangladesh to Sri Lanka may be tiny in comparison to the required funds, but its timely response is certainly commendable. The question is now valid. Bangladesh has become a lending and donating country! Why can’t other countries in South Asia be self-sufficient, donors, lenders, and economic miracles? Bangladesh can teach South Asia a lot.



Apr 18, 2012
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
BD also provided $200m loan to maldives as well as medical aids.

There are also talk of loan to Nepal but i assume this may not be possible given the current forex pressure BD is facing.

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