Dhaka, Feb 5 (UNB) – Country Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Manmohan Parkash on Tuesday said they will work very closely with Bangladesh to make sure that the projects are implemented faster and better.
“We discussed about the issue of expediting the project implementation efforts. We’ll be working very closely to make sure that the projects are getting implemented faster and better and stronger,” he said.
Manmohan came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after a meeting with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at his office at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
Describing AHM Mustafa Kamal as an experienced person, he said, “We believe that his coming from the Planning Ministry to the Finance Ministry will help us implement the projects faster.”
The ADB country director said they also discussed the macro-economic side in which he thinks Bangladesh is doing very well. “We’ll work very closely and take new initiatives so that Bangladesh can achieve its desired development goals.”
He also said he believes the ABD will have a very fruitful partnership with the new government of Bangladesh in the months and years to come.
Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal said the government has been working with the ADB for a long time. “Our relationship with the ABD is very well and normal.”
“The ADB is one of our biggest development partners. They help us implement projects. We’ll work maintaining a cordial relation in the future,” he said.
Mustafa Kamal hoped that the ADB will continue its support to the ongoing projects. “We’ll also get assistance from ADB in new areas as well and our relations will be strength further in the days to come.”
Dhaka, Feb 5 (UNB) – The European Union (EU) on Tuesday confirmed its continued commitment to Bangladesh for the development of the country's education sector with the launch of the Human Capital Development Programme 2021 (HCDP-21).
This EU-funded programme aims to provide improved quality education and training to Bangladesh's young population.
It will promote the implementation of long-term sustainable education policies towards a lifelong learning approach, bringing together primary education and TVET.
Overall, HCDP-21 supports Bangladesh to progress towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the Goal 4 on quality education.
ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed said the government of Bangladesh acknowledges the longstanding support of the EU in a sector as crucial as education.
“We’re looking forward to further strengthening our solid partnership with one of our key donors in Bangladesh and together making an important contribution to reaching the SDGs by 2030,” he said.
EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink said continued investment in quality primary education and establishment of a sustainable TVET system is critical to enhance employment opportunities, to use the potential of demographic dividend and contribute significantly to inclusive growth and poverty reduction with a working population anticipated to increase by 21 million people over the next decade.
The EU contribution is meant to support Education policy improvement and system strengthening with a specific focus on primary education and TVET, she said.
Bangladesh has made commendable progress over the past decades in human development, including in the education sector, with near universal access to primary education and gender equity at the primary and secondary education levels, said the EU Embassy in Dhaka.
Basic education and a skilled and capable workforce are a precondition to inclusive growth, key for Bangladesh to become a middle-income country.
The new EU Education programme operates through a budget support modality based on sector performance indicators, with a total amount of EUR 205 million (EUR 150 million for primary education, EUR 50 million for TVET and EUR 5 million for complementary Technical Assistance) to be implemented in the next four years.
Through this programme, the EU supports, together with other Development Partners, the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education implementing Bangladesh's National Primary Education Programme (PEDP4), putting special emphasis on the following key targets: quality education through better trained teachers and revised curricula, including learning materials, increased enrollment of out-of-school children into the formal education system and equal access.
TVET, the EU programme with the Ministry of Education, aimed at contributing to the establishment of a sustainable and comprehensive TVET system and increasing the number of certified teachers, the enrollment rate of TVET students and degrees recognition through a National Qualification Framework.
HCDP21 additionally seeks reinforcing planning and monitoring capabilities of the partners' institutions.
Dhaka, Feb 5 (UNB) - Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva has congratulated Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
Zaharieva hoped that both the countries can contribute to the further development of cooperation in the areas of mutual interest with common efforts, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Tuesday.
Cox’s Bazar, Feb 5 (UNB) – UNHCR special envoy and famous Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie on Tuesday urged the Myanmar authorities to show the genuine commitment to end the cycle of violence, displacement, and improve the conditions for all communities in Rakhine State, including Rohingyas.
“While UNHCR is ready to support efforts to improve conditions, there has been very little progress on the ground. The Rohingya cannot return to Myanmar at this time,” she said at a media briefing at Kutupalong Rohingya camp.
Until Rohingyas can return, Jolie said, they have a collective responsibility to ensure that they can live a dignified life here in Bangladesh.
Jolie said Bangladesh is a generous country rich in culture and history, but with limited resources, and it cannot be left to shoulder the responsibility of hosting Rohingyas alone.
“So, I urge the international community to continue to provide the humanitarian aid necessary to meet the needs of the refugees and support the communities so generously hosting them,” she said.
Jolie said Rohingyas have every right to live in security, to be free to practise their religion and coexist with people of other faiths and ethnicities. “You’ve every right not to be stateless, and the way you have been treated shames us all.”
She said a test and measure of any government is how they treat the most vulnerable people in society, and how they treat those who stand up for the vulnerable and speak out for the atrocities committed against them.
“The people responsible for human rights violations must be held accountable for their actions,” said the UNHCR special envoy.
She laid emphasis on implementation of the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission and working together with UNHCR and others.
The Rohingya families she has met are no different from other refugees in one crucial respect - they want to be able to return home.
“And they’ve an absolute right to return home, but only when they feel safe enough to do so voluntarily and they know that their rights will be respected,” said the UNHCR special envoy.
She met a woman on Monday, a survivor of rape in Myanmar, and she told Jolie, “You would have to shoot me where I stand before I go back without my rights.”
The UNHCR envoy said the responsibility to ensure those rights and make it possible for the Rohingya people to return to Rakhine State lies squarely with the government and the authorities in Myanmar.
“So, I hope they’ll recognise that this issue won’t go away, just as we won’t turn away from the Rohingya,” she said.
Hollywood actor and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie in Cox's Bazar. Photo: Courtesy
Jolie said she visited Rohingya camps to see what more can be done to ensure Rohingya children can gain education with recognised qualifications that they need to retain a clear vision for their futures, and, when conditions allow, rebuild their communities in Myanmar.
Hollywood actor and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie in Cox's Bazar. Photo: Courtesy
“I also met some of the many survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, including mass rape. Nearly two years after the beginning of this emergency, there’s still a worrying gap in psychosocial services available for refugee survivors. This gap urgently needs to be addressed,” she said.
Jolie said the Rohingya crisis is emblematic of a much wider problem but it is also a powerful example of what happens when people around the world, and across societies, come together in response to a cause greater than themselves.
The actress arrived in Cox’s Bazar on Monday morning to assess the humanitarian needs of the Rohingyas in her role as UNHCR special envoy.
Bangladesh is now hosting nearly 1.3 million Rohingyas. The majority of Rohingyas -- more than 620,000 people -- live in just one area: Kutupalong, the largest refugee settlement anywhere in the world today.
The special envoy will conclude her Bangladesh visit after holding official meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen as well as other senior officials in Dhaka on Wednesday.
During the meetings, she will discuss how UNHCR can best support the current response led by the Bangladesh government, along with the need for safe and sustainable solutions to the plight of one of the world's most persecuted minorities, UNHCR said.
Her visit came just before the launch of a new appeal for the humanitarian situation in Bangladesh -- the 2019 Joint Response Plan -- which seeks to raise some $920 million to continue meeting the basic needs of Rohingyas and the communities hosting them.
Bangladesh has been heavily affected by the influx of more than 730,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar since August 2017 and now hosts nearly a million refugees, said the UN refugee agency.
Dhaka, Feb 5 (UNB) – Unicef on Tuesday called for concerted action to tackle and prevent violence against children and young people online in Bangladesh where the internet population has witnessed 800 times growth since 2000.
On the Safer Internet Day, Unicef warned of the dangers posed by online violence, cyberbullying and digital harassment for the 32 percent children aged 10 to 17 years in the country.
The call came after a recent Unicef poll of young people and suggestions from a series of student-led #ENDviolence Youth Talks held around the world.
A Unicef Bangladesh commissioned study titled ‘Online Safety of Children in Bangladesh’ said the country’s online population was getting younger with children as young as 11 using the internet daily.
It surveyed 1,281 children (aged 10 to 17) from schools, colleges, and madrasahs who use internet and found that 25 percent of them (aged 10-17) started accessing the digital world below the age of 11.
In Bangladesh, boys (63%) are ahead of girls (48%) in terms of high frequency online access and use. Ten percent had been exposed to religiously provocative content but those aged between 16 and17 had been exposed to such contents more than other groups of children.
The use of private rooms as primary internet usage point by 63 percent surveyed children indicates the prevalence of less supervised internet use, the report noted.
Chatting and watching videos were found to be the two most frequent internet activities, with 33 percent chatting online and 30 percent watching videos daily.
Shockingly, the study revealed that 70 percent boys and 44 percent girls admitted to befriending unknown people online. A number of the respondents said they had met the online ‘friends’ in person, risking their safety.
“We’ve heard from children and young people from Bangladesh and around the world and what they are saying is clear: The Internet has become a kindness desert,” said Edouard Beigbeder, the Unicef Bangladesh representative.
“That’s why this Safer Internet Day, Unicef is following young people’s lead and inviting everyone to be kind online, and calling for greater action to make the Internet a safer place for everyone, especially children.”
‘Tip the balance for good’
Older children may be more exposed to cyberbullying than younger ones but children, in general, are not immune from harmful content, sexual exploitation and abuse.
Cyberbullying can cause profound harm as it can quickly reach a wide audience, and can remain accessible online indefinitely – virtually ‘following’ its victims online for life.
Victims of cyberbullying are more likely to use alcohol and drugs and skip school than other students. They also are more likely to receive poor grades and experience low self-esteem and health problems.
In extreme situations, cyberbullying has even led to suicide.
“Thirty years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the creation of the World Wide Web, it is time for governments, families, academia and, critically, the private sector to put children and young people at the centre of digital policies," said Beigbeder.
“By protecting them from the worst the Internet has to offer and expanding access to its best, we can each help tip the balance for good.”