Dhaka, July 1 (UNB) - With an investment of US$72 million, the government, with technical assistance from WFP, is set to reach 100,000 women with livelihood training, behavioural change education, as well as food assistance.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the government of Bangladesh to lift rural women out of extreme poverty through a ground-breaking programme, said the WFP on Monday.
The participants of the Investment Component for Vulnerable Group Development (ICVGD) programme come from all 64 districts of the country, residing in remote areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and cyclones.
They face high poverty with low employment opportunities.
“WFP applauds the government for its commitment towards empowering women and achieving food security in Bangladesh,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Bangladesh.
“Thanks to commitments like this, rural women will now have a chance to transform their lives and that of their children through skills and knowledge.”
Currently in its second phase, the programme consists of training in entrepreneurship, financial management and life skills, as well as behavioural change education in the areas of nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene.
Each participant will receive a start-up grant of BDT 15,000 (US$180) and a monthly ration of 30 kg of fortified rice during their training period.
During the first phase of this programme, which started in 2015, 8,000 rural women were provided with similar support.
An evaluation of the first phase showed improvements in income, food security and dietary diversity of these women and their families.
A positive change in their decision-making ability was also observed.
Run by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, ICVGD is part of the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme, which is the largest safety net programme targeting extremely poor and vulnerable women and their households in Bangladesh.
Dhaka, June 30 (UNB) - World Bank’s new Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Miyang Tembon has said Bangladesh has tremendous development experience to share with the world.
"It has cut extreme poverty in half in record time and is among the few developing countries to achieve gender parity in school enrollment. I have been following the country’s remarkable progress over the years and I look forward to working closely with the government and people of Bangladesh to address remaining challenges,” said Tembon on Sunday.
The World Bank remains a committed partner to support Bangladesh attain its vision of upper middle-income country status, said the new Country Director who begins his journey here on Monday.
Tembon holds a PhD in Economics of Education from the University of London, England, according to WB.
Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a Research Officer at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.
She has authored several publications on education, gender and economic growth issues.
In her role as the World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Tembon will lead the implementation of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework in support of the development priorities of both countries.
She will also lead the policy dialogue with government counterparts, civil society and other stakeholders to achieve country development goals.
Tembon brings to her new role deep knowledge of Bank operations, a track record in promoting economic growth and social development in several countries, and a reputation for developing strong partnerships with stakeholders.
She also brings to this position a unique combination of experiences working at the country and sector levels, coupled with extensive multicultural experience of living in different countries and working in several languages.
A Cameroonian national, Tembon joined the World Bank in 2000 as an Education Specialist and has since held leadership positions in different countries.
Prior to taking this assignment, Tembon served as the Country Director for the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) in the Europe and Central Asia region. She also served as World Bank Country Manager for Burundi as well as for Burkina Faso in the Africa region.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence.
Since then the World Bank has committed over $30 billion, mostly in grants and interest-free credits to Bangladesh.
Currently, Bangladesh has the largest IDA program of World Bank totaling $12.6 billion.
Dhaka, June 30 (UNB) - Bangladesh and Japan on Sunday signed a number of documents under Japanese grant aid and the 40th Japanese Yen loan package.
The documents were signed on the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS), the Densification of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Continuously Operating Reference Station Network and the Modernisation of Tidal Station in Bangladesh and Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Project (V) on the government of Japan’s 40th Japanese Yen Loan Package.
Hiroyasu Izumi, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, and Monowar Ahmed, Secretary of ERD signed the exchange of notes representing respective governments at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of Ministry of Finance.
Hitoshi Hirata, Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office, also attended the ceremony and signed the grant and loan Agreements.
Since 2002 to date, 358 Bangladeshi officials have studied in master courses in Japanese universities under the JDS scheme, said the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.
In light of the strong expectation of the government of Bangladesh to enlarge the scheme, the government of Japan has increased the annual number of Bangladesh JDS awardees significantly during the past few years: the yearly intake of 15 which stayed constant between 2010 and 2014 has doubled to 30 in 2016.
Besides, three PhD fellows have studied for the first time since the spring of 2018.
It is expected that JDS fellows would play an active role after on completion of the programme in drawing up and implementing social and economic development policies in Bangladesh, said the Embassy.
It is also expected that JDS fellows would make valuable contributions to furthering mutual understanding, and deepen and broaden friendship between Japan and Bangladesh.
Due to the rapid economic development of Bangladesh, infrastructure development in a wide area of the country is indispensable, and a huge demand is expected in the future, according to Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.
In the development of infrastructure, a map with high accuracy is required to confirm the topography of the target area, it said.
Dhaka, June 30 (UNB) - Dozens of blue-collar Bangladeshi workers at a factory in Dubai are preparing to sue their employer as he has not paid them in months.
They are among a group of 300 workers stuck there without money and food. Some of them have become illegal residents after their visas expired and the company has taken no step to renew them.
Bangladesh Consulate’s First Secretary (Labour) Fakir Muhammad Munawar Hossain told UNB that 168 of the workers are Bangladeshis. “We’re in touch with them,” he said.
One of them told Khaleej Times that they were penniless and had no food to eat. “Our visas are expired and our passports are still with the employer. We cannot work elsewhere as we don’t have our documents,” he said.
Dar Al Ber Society charity has been distributing food items and conducted a medical camp at the workers’ accommodation on Wednesday after learning about the situation from an Indian expat.
Munawar said the workers were employed by a “reputable Indian construction company” which recently went bankrupt and that some workers had not been paid in six or more months.
Most of the workers’ salaries range in between 700 and 1,500 dirham (roughly Tk 16,000 and Tk 34,500).
The employer, who has not been named, promised to clear the dues at the earliest, Khaleej Times reported.
The UAE is one of the most preferred destinations of Bangladeshi workers in the Middle-East. Last year, they sent back $2,425.4 million or 15.6 percent of the total remittance.
Munawar said they were providing the workers with legal assistance and food but solving the problem will be a bit complex under the local law.
He also spoke about an alternative. “If they give up on their demand, they can go back with the guarantee money.”
But the Bangladeshi workers told him that they will move the court. “The procedures can take about seven months,” the first secretary said. “We’ll assist anyone willing to file cases and help those who want to go back.”
Munawar said the problem being faced by the Bangladeshi workers was not uncommon. “Many companies are being shut down regularly and we’re doing whatever we can to help our workers,” he said.
But the situation appeared to be very grim for the workers. One of them told the newspaper that they had to depend on the mercy of the passerby or nearby cafeterias for meals.
“It’s too embarrassing to beg for food. We came here to work with dignity … not to beg or become illegal residents,” he said.
Bangkok, June 29 (UNB)— Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus here on Saturday encouraged the young people to use their unlimited creative power for the betterment of the world.
“Don’t say we can’t do anything. That’s not an option. We have to do something. The world is yours,” he said at the closing session of the 9th Social Business Day.
Prof Yunus said the children and young people are full of unlimited creative power which needs to be harnessed.
Encouraging the young people to think big and discover themselves, he said, “You’ve the power to compete, to overcome odds. Whatever you are currently doing, your creative power is still there. Use that power to make a social business.”
Terming social business a problem-solving one, he said “not waiting for anybody” is the real message of social business.
Highlighting the existing global problems, Prof Yunus said same road leads to the same destination and new roads need to be built to reach new destination.
He said there is a need for a bigger social business tree as time is running out to save the planet from disaster. “That's an alternative we’re suggesting,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of CP Group Suphachai Chearavanont, founder of Grameen Creative Lab Hans Reitz, Managing Director of Grameen Telecom Trust Parveen Mahmmud and Grameen Shakti Managing Director Sohel Ahmed, among others, spoke at various sessions on the closing day.
They spoke about social business challenges, necessity of innovative power in social business and importance of sustainable business models.
They shed lights on why social business needs to have the best people making it pure, joyful and beautiful business overcoming all the challenges and difficulties.
The 9th Social Business Day was held at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre, Central World jointly organised by Yunus Centre, Dhaka, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Kasetsart University, Thailand.
This year, the theme was “Making Money is Happiness, Making Other People Happy is Super Happiness”.
Panel discussions addressed a myriad of topics in relation to the social business ecosystem ranging from food and agriculture, deforestation, green energy to education, health, technology, sports as well as culture and arts.
Some 1,500 delegates from 59 countries - 80 delegates from Japan alone, 30 from China and 50 from Taiwan, attended the two-day event.
This was the biggest international gathering of social business till date, organisers said. The first one was held in 2010 in Dhaka.
The second and last day of the Social Business Day brought out several major announcements and plenary sessions on “social business and sports” as well as “challenges in social business”.
There were eight country forums where delegates from each country discussed challenging issues pertaining to their nation and look at social business solutions to eradicate them.