Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) - The government on Monday signed two financing agreements totaling $200 million with the World Bank to improve the forest cover in the country’s coastal, hill and central districts, including Cox’s Bazar, and provide education to Rohingya children and youth.
The $175 million Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods Project will plant trees in about 79,000 hectares of forest through a collaborative forest management system.
The proportion to land under forests is only 11 percent in Bangladesh which is significantly lower than the Asian average of 26 percent. By increasing forest cover, the project will help the country become more climate resilient, said the Washington-based lending agency.
The sudden influx of over 725,000 Rohingya to Cox’s Bazar caused the loss of nearly 13,000 hectares of forest. The project will restore trees in 19,925 hectare of land in Cox’s Bazar.
It will also help about 40,000 poor, local households earn more money through alternative income generation activities.
It will also help the host communities through income generation activities, improving availability of wood for fuel in a sustainable way and reducing human-wild elephant conflict, which has increased due to loss of habitat.
“Despite its own challenges, Bangladesh generously provided shelter to about a million Rohingya refugees. The local people, many of whom are poor, welcomed the displaced Rohingya and shared food and resources. But the needs of both the Rohingya and the host community are huge,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
“These financing with help the government improve resilience and livelihoods of the host community as well as address the learning and psycho-social needs of Rohingya children and adolescents.”
The $25 million Additional Financing to the existing Reaching Out of School Children Project II (ROSC II), also signed on Monday will help about 350,000 Rohingya children and adolescents get basic education and psychosocial support.
The grant will help recruit and train about 2,000 teachers and instructors. More than half of the teachers will be female, who will be trained to help girls manage safety concerns and if needed, guide them to safe locations.
The preparation of text books and learning materials will adhere to the government’s Learning Competency Framework.
The existing project is also being extended for two years, which will bring poor children from the host community in the area back to school in Cox’s Bazar, which has the lowest net education enrollment rate in the country.
The project extension will provide training to more than 17,000 local adolescents and help them with job placement.
Both agreements were signed by Monowar Ahmed and Qimiao Fan on behalf of the government and the World Bank, respectively, at the Economic Relations Division.
The credit to the Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods Project from the World Bank’s International Development Association has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.
Of the $25 million financing to the ROSC II project, the World Bank will provide $21 million as a grant through the IDA18 Regional Sub-window for Refugees and Host Communities and the Government of Canada will provide a $4 million grant.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) - President Abdul Hamid on Monday stressed the importance of instilling patriotism in children and youths alongside moral and practical education.
“Though we’re the role model of development around the world and able to attract all for achievements in socio-economic indexes, we’ve to go a long way to attain the goals of the Liberation War. You have to imbue the children, adolescents and youths with patriotism alongside the moral and practical education,” he said.
The President made the remarks while addressing in the inaugural programme of 47th General Meeting of the National Council of Bangladesh Scouts at the auditorium of Krishibid Institution Bangladesh in the city.
He said, “Scouts should know the real history of the struggle for independence and the Liberation War. Scout leaders will have to take effective measures to hold the Liberation War spirit.”
Describing children as the country’s future and main driving force, Abdul Hamid said, “It’s one of your main responsibilities to make them well-educated through moral education and practical training."
Moral degradation, selfishness, jealousy and greed have a negative impact on children and adolescents, he said, adding that the menace of terrorism, militancy and fundamentalism as well as the misuse of technology worldwide are also contributing to misguiding the youth and destroying their talents.
The President, also the chief scout, urged the scouts to play an effective role in this regard. “You’ll have to develop their human values to make them good citizens keeping them way from these menaces.”
Describing Bangladesh as a country of communal harmony, he said, “For thousands of years, people of different faiths have been living here peacefully. So, communal harmony is our great tradition. This tradition has to be maintained through collective efforts.”
Abdul Hamid underscored the need for increasing the quality of scouts alongside members as the number of Bangladesh Scouts is now 17 lakh, which is not sufficient compared to the country’s population. “The Bangladesh Scouts National Strategic Plan-2021 is being implemented to increase the number of scouts to 21 lakh. Scout leaders shouldn’t only focus on increasing the number but also quality.”
The 32nd Asian-Pacific Scout Jamboree will be held in Bangladesh in 2021 marking the golden jubilee of the country’s independence. “It's a matter of joy. It’s expected that our scouts will contribute more to the socioeconomic development of the country.”
Chief National Commissioner of Bangladesh Scouts Dr Mozammel Haque Khan delivered the inaugural speech while President of Bangladesh Scouts AbulKalam Azad presided over the programme.
Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman, Planning Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal and Education Minister Nurul Islam also spoke at the programme.
The President also distributed awards among the best scouts of 2017.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the aim of her government is to ensure a peaceful situation in the country where they will live in happiness.
"Our government's aim is to ensure a better life for people where they could live in peace and happiness," she said when a delegation of the EU Parliament met her at her official residence Ganobhaban.
PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karin briefed reporters after the meeting.
During the meeting, the delegation members termed Sheikh Hasina as "an example for women empowerment".
In response to their appreciation, the Prime Minister said, "As the government has taken numerous programmes for their empowerment, the women of the country are now participating in every field along with their male counterparts and getting their due shares. Women are doing very well in every sector."
She also mentioned that the government has made it mandatory to recruit 60 percent women as primary school teachers.
Talking about the existing excellent communal harmony in the country, Sheikh Hasina said the people of all religions are living in Bangladesh maintaining their peaceful coexistence.
A section of people, the Prime Minister mentioned, had tried to create disturbance to hamper the communal harmony in the country. "But, this section of people could not succeed due to the zero-tolerance policy of the government.”
Hasina said the 1.1 million Rohingya people who came from Myanmar is a great burden for Bangladesh as the country already has got 160 million people in its small piece of land.
About the election process, she said, the government has ensured transparent ballot box and a voter list with photographs.
Regarding the relation with neighbouring countries, Hasina said Bangladesh has good ties with its neighbours, including India, China and Pakistan as the government follows Bangabandhu's foreign policy 'friendship to all, malice to none'.
“We also have diplomatic ties with Pakistan though we attained independence from it. India and China are our development partners, they are investing in Bangladesh to help up us develop the country," she said.
The Prime Minister said that the EU is the biggest destination of Bangladeshi readymade garments and recalled that the EU granted quota free access of Bangladeshi RMG during the 1996-2001rule. "Many EU countries are now investing in Bangladesh," she said.
She appreciated the EU for their continuous support towards Bangladesh for continuing democratic process.
Ryszard Czarnecki, ElinaTheocharous, ChristelleLetard, NikolayBarekov, Agnicszka Scigaj, Henri Malosse, Madhu Sharma, Guillaume Pradoura and Hazel Lincy Ebenezer were members of the delegation.
Bagerhat, Nov 5 (UNB) – Detective Branch (DB) of Police here arrested a local leader of BNP along with four crude bombs from Chitalmari upazila in the district early Monday.
The arrestee is Moninul Haque Tulu Biswash, 50, BNP president of Chitalmari upazila unit.
Officer-in-charge of Chitalmari Police Station Anukul Chnadra Sarkar said tipped off a team of DB police arrested Mominul from Patorpata Government Primary School ground while he was planning to carry out sabotage in a secret meeting.
A case was filed under the Explosive Substance Act with Chitalmari Police Station in this regard, he said.
Gopalganj, Nov 5 (UNB) – A trader was found dead at his in-law’s house at Ghonapara in Kashiani upazila on Monday.
The deceased was identified as Arif Kazi, 40, son of Majibor Kazi of Gopalganj district town.
Arif, a cattle farm owner ,went to his father-in-law’s house in Kashiani upazila few days ago, said Azizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Kashiani Police Station.
Being informed by local people, police recovered the body from the house of Abdul Kalek and sent it to Gopalganj sadar hosptial morgue for autopsy.
The body bore several injury marks and the hands and legs of the victim was found smashed, said the OC.
Police suspected that the deceased was beaten and stabbed to death sometime in the night. Police arrested Arif’s wife Farzana Islam Keya, 30 and her father MA Khalek for interrogation.