Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) – The icddr,b is organising the 15th Asian Conference on Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition (ASCODD 2020) next year.
It will be held on 28-30 January, 2020 in the city.
This year’s theme is ‘Typhoid, Cholera, other enteric diseases and their relationship to nutritional disorders: Persisting challenges for low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in an era of humanitarian crisis’.
The theme and significance of the conference is centred on two major burdens of enteric bacterial diseases in this decade - Cholera and Typhoid which together cause 23 million episodes and 300,000 deaths globally.
The conference focuses on the latest issues in enteric infections, nutrition, policy and practice.
It includes four symposia on subjects of global interest - Typhoid conjugate vaccine: prospects for use in Asia and Africa; Ending cholera 2030: Initiatives and challenges; Environmental enteropathy, gut microbiota and childhood malnutrition; and Antimicrobial Resistance and its impact on treatment of enteric infections.
The first-ever ASCODD was held in Dhaka and was organised by icddr,b in 1982.
Since then, ASCODD has emerged as a bridge between young researchers and global experts by facilitating knowledge sharing, ideas and research collaboration.
The 1982 conference envisioned a wider geographical scope and participations from other Asian nations. Later in 1983, the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata, India joined the initiative along with Indian researchers.
The past 14 conferences took place in eight Asian countries covering Bangladesh (3), India (3), Thailand (2), Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia (2) and the Philippines.
Dr Firdausi Qadri, Senior Scientist, Enteric and Respiratory Infections at icddr,b and the President of the ASCODD believes the conference will offer immense benefits to its participants.
She said Bangladesh is holding this conference after 17 years, offering a rare opportunity for researchers in the field of enteric diseases and nutrition, and to share their work and learn from other global experts.
“I believe the conference will immensely benefit them in strengthening their scientific pursuit,” she said.
Scientists and experts from the world’s leading research institutions, representatives from the World Health Organisation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as sponsors will attend the conference.
Additionally, representatives from governments, and NGOs, physicians, and medical students interested in enteric bacterial diseases can leverage opportunities of global knowledge sharing, collaboration and networking from this platform.
Students from low and middle-income countries including Bangladesh will enjoy a discounted fee for registering for the conference.
Limited number of travel grants based on selection will be awarded to young scientists to enable them to participate in the meeting.
The website (http://www.ascodd.net/) for the ASCODD 2020 is now live to enable participants from Bangladesh and other countries to register, submit abstract.
Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) - Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen has stressed the importance of the role of Southern countries in the decision-making process of international economy.
He was speaking at an event to observe the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation (41st Anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action) at the UNHQs on Thursday.
The PR said there must be a more central role for the South in the international economic decision-making.
“It’s important to recognise that to bolster South-South Cooperation (SSC), a fundamental change in the global financial and economic governance structure needs to be initiated,” he said.
Aiming to boost up SSC, Ambassador Masud also flagged some other points such as delivering on ODA commitments, extending the financial support from new regional and global banks, accelerating technology transfer, implementing preferential trading rules of WTO and support from the reformed United Nations Development System (UNDS) to SSC initiatives.
The PR reiterated Bangladesh’s proposal for establishing a Ministerial Forum of Southern countries under the aegis of SSC which was proposed for the first time at BAPA+40 Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
Ambassador Masud also referred to the South-South Centre on Knowledge and Innovation which is going to be set up by Bangladesh.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President of the High-level Committee on SSC Adonia Ayebare, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and Envoy of the Secretary General on South-South Cooperation Jorge Chediek also spoke at the event.
Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has invited German and French companies to invest more in Bangladesh, particularly in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and High-tech Parks being developed by the government.
They are being encouraged to take advantage of the country’s strategic location, demographic dividend, special incentive package for foreign direct investment (FDI) and a huge domestic market.
Apart from RMG sector, the Foreign Minister particularly highlighted ICT and agro-based industries as potential sectors for further investment and trade.
Dr Momen made the call when a cross-sectoral delegation from German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV), headed by Peter Clasen, Managing Partner, WILHEM G CLASEN GmbH & Co KG, called on him on Thursday afternoon.
Foreign Minister Momen is slated to visit France and Germany next month where he will, among others, meet his counterparts and business leaders, the Foreign Ministry said.
In France, he will attend an Economic Forum to be organised by the French Senate.
OAV, with around 500 member companies, is a renowned German Platform for exchanging knowledge and experience across different industries, and offer members, operating in or in cooperation with Asia, practical and comprehensive services.
Earlier in the day, new French Ambassador to Bangladesh Jean-Marin SCHUH paid a courtesy call on the Foreign Minister at his office.
In both meetings, Foreign Minister Momen highlighted Bangladesh’s tremendous socio-economic developments, particularly during the last one decade in light of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Vision 2021 and Vision 2041 that envisages the transformation of Bangladesh into ‘Sonar Bangla’ or Golden Bengal as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Foreign Minister expressed his deep appreciation for German technology and asked for greater cooperation in knowledge, innovation and technology transfer.
He also highlighted Bangladesh’s E-passport project being implemented in cooperation with German company Veridos GmbH and a Joint Development Agreement in the power generation and distribution sector in Bangladesh initiated with Siemens AG.
German Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz was also present in the meeting.
During the meeting with the French Ambassador, Dr Momen expressed satisfaction over the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and touched upon various bilateral trade and investment issues, including the Bangabandhu Satellite which was built by French company Thales Alenia Space.
Dhaka, Sept 12 (UNB) - United Nation’s trade chief has said climate change poses an “existential threat to commodity-dependent developing countries” and highlighted the need to diversify economies and exports.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s Commodities and Development Report 2019, maintains that diversification could be either “horizontal”, meaning venturing into new goods and sectors to reduce dependence on a narrow range of commodities – or vertical, which involves increasing a commodity’s value.
“The climate crisis…will result in the collapse of some economies if decisive action is not taken now,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi stressed on Wednesday.
“Now more than ever before, these countries need to assess their diversification potential and reduce their commodity dependence, which for decades has kept them exposed to volatile markets and climate change.”
According to the report, a successful diversification strategy will mostly likely involve a combination of horizontal policies, such education and health investments, and targeted measures to promote promising sectors.
The climate crisis puts commodity-dependent developing countries most at risk because their economies depend on sectors which are highly exposed to extreme weather events, UN News said quoting the report.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the worst affected, as are crop and fisheries production, which historically exist in low-latitude regions – where most commodity-dependent developing countries are located.
The report underscores that the high risk faced by these countries reinforces their need to adapt, diversify and modernise their economies.
But the report maintains that tackling climate change presents some opportunities to these countries, such as boosting production of alternatives to cattle meat and milk.
Besides, according to the report, the quest for climate mitigation and adaptation has spurred investments in technological innovations that could benefit these countries; for example, solar photovoltaic cells, which could bolster energy security and support commodity sectors in remote areas not connected to national power grids.
Bringing Paris Agreement home
The report echoes experts’ warnings that commitments made by countries to mitigate climate change under the Paris Agreement are not ambitious enough but must instead be quadrupled to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
For this, stronger political will and greater mobilisation of financial and human resources are necessary.
The report underlines that climate-related funding, which is currently only a fraction of actual requirements, needs to be substantially scaled up given the high cost of climate mitigation and adaptation.
In addition, greening fiscal policies can help ensure that taxes, subsidies and similar policy instruments assist in implementing action plans that would also work toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Climate actions need to be strengthened, including by building technical and regulatory capacities for institutions to implement more effective policies, and the report suggests reforming fossil fuel subsidies to further green fiscal policies.
Finally, developed countries need to meet their commitment under the Paris Agreement to transfer environmentally friendly technologies to developing countries to help them effectively participate in global efforts to mitigate and adapt.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) - The Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) partners – UN agencies working in support of the government of Bangladesh -- are assisting thousands in the host community and Rohingya refugee camps who have been impacted by severe rain and winds that have continued to batter Cox’s Bazar since Saturday.
While no injuries have been reported in the camps, the past 48 hours have seen 15 landslides, 25 wind/rainstorms, and five flooding incidents, causing temporary displacement of 14,801 individuals from 4,543 households, partial damage to 427 shelters and complete destruction of 66 shelters.
An estimated 16,190 individuals from 4,842 households have been affected by the flooding, said UNHCR on Wednesday.
In Teknaf, two Bangladeshi children have reportedly been killed and 10 people have been injured following a landslide, it said.
Cox’s Bazar district experiences some of the highest annual rainfall in Bangladesh, where landslides, floods, winds and waterlogging commonly occur.
“The rain and wind are endangering lives and causing hardship on the ground and our teams are working around the clock to provide emergency services, repairs and relocations. While we are responding to the immediate effects of the rains, we remain focused on long-term disaster management and risk mitigation," said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira.
On Tuesday, approximately 4,000 households were displaced due to the rainfall in Camp 26 alone in the Teknaf, which was worst affected. Some were relocated on an emergency basis to 15 designated safe havens/communal facilities to ensure their immediate safety, while others moved with extended family.
UNHCR protection staff and partners are working to ensure that all refugees are safely accounted for and are reuniting separated family members.
Shelter, food and access to clean drinking water are being provided.
“We are working closely with partners and the government authorities to assist affected families. We also acknowledge the efforts of refugees themselves as well as the host community, who are at the centre of the response”, said Marin
Din Kajdomcaj, UNHCR Head of Office in Cox’s Bazar.
“We have trained some 3,000 refugees so they can respond to emergencies and reduce the risks faced by the community in disasters,” he said.
In the past couple of days, humanitarian agencies have distributed shelter kits, hot meals, and high-energy biscuits to families impacted by the storms. “WFP is well prepared for emergency situations such as this and we have assisted 12,500 people with extra food distributions including 6,000 hot meals and 6,500 boxes of high-energy biscuits.”
Only 38 percent of the response is funded, compromising essential services and the health and wellbeing of both the Rohingya and host community population,” said Nicole Epting, ISCG Senior Coordinator.
ISCG partners – the UN and NGOs – are continuing to monitor weather and assist affected communities as needed.
With rains expected to continue, engineers are concerned about worsening damage to paths, bridges and drainage systems if conditions do not improve.