Dhaka, Mar 9 (UNB) - The World Bank has approved a $165 million grant to help Bangladesh provide basic services and build disaster and social resilience for the Rohingyas who fled violence in Myanmar and took shelter in Teknaf and Ukhia Upazila in Cox’s Bazar.
This is the third in a series of planned financings of approximately half a billion dollars announced by the World Bank in June 2018.
Earlier the World Bank has committed a $75 million grant to provide for the health and learning needs of the Rohingya.
The Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project will help Bangladesh cope with the world’s fastest growing exodus, where the Rohingya outnumber the local community more than threefold in the Teknaf and UkhiaUpazila, said the WB on Saturday.
The project will help build and rehabilitate basic infrastructure, improve community resilience and help prevent gender-based violence.
This includes building a water supply system comprising of community standpoints, rainwater harvesting, and piped water supply systems as well as improve sanitation facilities.
The project will also build and improve multipurpose cyclone shelters, roads, footpaths, drains, culverts, bridges and install solar street lights inside the camps.
“Bangladesh has shown great generosity by sheltering and providing for a nearly a million Rohingya people, despite its own development challenges,” said Dandan Chen, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
“The influx has placed enormous pressure on local infrastructure, services and public resources. This project will contribute to improving basic public infrastructure and living conditions in the congested camp. Moreover, through our existing and new projects, we are helping the local population.”
The Rohingya are living in extremely congested conditions in Cox Bazar, an area that is prone to weather shocks.
The project will respond to natural disaster shocks and gender-based violence through strengthened government systems.
The project service deliveries will focus on women and children, including interventions to prevent gender-based violence.
Water and sanitation facilities will target women, children and disabled individuals and the street lights will contribute to better safety.
“More than half of the Rohingyapopulation are women and girls and before coming to Bangladesh they were exposed to gender-based violence and now are at risk,” said SwarnaKazi, World Bank Team Leader for the project.
“In this project, all facilities are designed as women-friendly. Cyclone shelters and water and sanitation facilities will cater to the needs of women and children and the street lights will ensure better safety. The project will also have gender-friendly spaces and community services will be targeted at women and adolescent girls.”
The World Bank is helping the host communities with about $200 million support in Cox’s Bazar through ongoing projects: disaster preparedness including building and rehabilitating cyclone shelters; improving basic infrastructures and governance in union parishads, pourashabhas, and municipal areas; social protection; and, collaborative forest management and income generation opportunities for the host communities.
Dhaka, Mar 8 (UNB) - The European Union (EU) and UN Women on Friday jointly launched a three-year WeEmpower Asia programme to encourage the private sector to expand economic participation and business opportunities for women in seven Asian countries.
Funded by the EU, UN Women will implement the €8 million programme in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, aiming to integrate gender concerns into business practices in the region.
WeEmpower Asia will promote dialogue among women’s groups and the public and private sector so as to enable a business environment that empowers women; provide skills training for female entrepreneurs to engage with businesses, policy-makers and decision-makers; and support companies to adopt the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
EU Principal Advisor on Gender Ambassador Mara Marinaki said women’s economic empowerment is a pre-requisite for inclusive and equitable economic growth, according a UN Women press release received from Bangkok, Thailand.
Marinaki said it can drive gender equality outcomes and broader intergenerational benefits for women, their children, households and communities.
“Women who are economically empowered have greater access to income and economic assets, better control over their own economic gains and more equitable decision-making power to translate these gains into social, economic, and health benefits for themselves, their families and their societies,” Marinaki stated.
UN Women’s acting Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Anna-Karin Jatfors said women make crucial contributions to the region’s economies.
“WeEmpower Asia will create transformative partnerships between private sector companies, female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses, and policymakers to drive social change. It will benefit not only women, but also societies and economies as a whole.”
The EU and UN Women have already joined hands working closely on women's economic empowerment in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as at G7 level under two other programmes that are being implemented simultaneously: Win-Win -- Gender equality means good businessand WeEmpower -- Promoting economic empowerment of women at work through responsible business conduct.
These programmes and WeEmpower Asia launched are concrete examples of EU's commitment to gender equality and respond to an increasingly global movement that urges companies, suppliers and consumers to work together to strengthen the voice and participation of women at work.
Dhaka, Mar 8 (UNB) - Kenya has underlined the importance of enhancing bilateral relations with Bangladesh by intensifying and diversifying cooperation in prospective areas.
The two countries also agreed that a business delegation from Bangladesh could visit Kenya to identify products and services which can be exported to Kenya.
Kenyan Foreign Minister Dr Monica Juma, during her official visit to Bangladesh from March 6-8 with a six-member delegation, discussed these issues, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr Juma and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen held bilateral talks at the State Guest House Meghna on Thursday evening.
Dr Momen was joined by Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and other high officials of the Foreign Ministry at the talks.
He emphasized the potential of enhancing trade ties between Bangladesh and Kenya, and underscored the high quality of Bangladeshi products and services.
Minister Dr Momen particularly stressed the high standard of Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG), pharmaceuticals, jute and jute products, leather products which could be imported from Bangladesh at competitive prices.
He briefed the Kenyan Foreign Minister about more than one million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar who are being sheltered by Bangladesh.
He stressed the need for the international community to put pressure on the Myanmar government to implement the agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar for the repatriation of the Rohingyas in safety, security and dignity back to their homeland in Myanmar.
Dr Juma thanked the government of Bangladesh led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the unprecedented and historic humanitarian gesture shown by Bangladesh to give shelter to the Rohingyas who fled inhuman violence and atrocities in Myanmar.
Minister Momen briefed the Kenyan delegation on the significance of historic 7th March for Bangladesh and highlighted the leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He appreciated the Kenyan side for creating a favourable investment climate for the Bangladeshi entrepreneurs who have already initiated joint ventures in Kenya.
Minister Momen also mentioned that Bangladesh is ready to extend support in the agriculture sector of Kenya.
The two countries agreed that cooperation in education, science, technology, should be institutionalised through signing relevant agreements. Both sides also agreed on holding foreign office consultations soon.
The Kenyan Foreign Minister commended the tremendous social progress and economic development that are taking place in Bangladesh under the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Minister Momen hosted dinner at the state guesthouse Padma in honour of the Kenyan Foreign Minister which was attended by high-level dignitaries from both sides.
Dr Juma is also visiting India and Sri Lanka during her South Asian tour.
Dhaka, Mar 8 (UNB) - Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal has proposed establishing a Bangabandhu Chair in a leading Dutch university for conducting research on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangladesh.
He also urged all to start planning as to how best they could celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary in 2020 in the Netherlands.
The Embassy of Bangladesh in The Hague organised a discussion on Thursday to discuss the significance of the historic 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu, said the embassy on Friday.
Apart from the embassy officials, expatriate Bangladesh nationals attended the programme.
The Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands and the leaders of Holland Awami League participated in the discussion on the background of the historic speech of March 7, 1971 and its significance in the glorious Liberation War.
At the outset, embassy officials read out the message of the President and Prime Minister of Bangladesh issued on the occasion.
Then the historic speech was played before the audience which was followed by discussion session on significance of the historic speech.
Holland Awami League leaders highlighted the distinguishing leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, outstanding self-sacrifice he made, his prudent vision, courage, progressive attitude, patriotism and humane quality.
They discussed the background of the historic 7th March Speech and how it ultimately contributed to the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
They also thanked the embassy for its efforts in installing the first-ever International Language Monument (Shaheed Minar) in The Hague.
Ambassador Belal described the historic speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the Magna Carta of freedom of the Bangalee nation.
He mentioned that the speech presented by Bangabandhu 48 years ago did not only lead the Bangalee people during the Liberation War, but also emerged as a unique documentary heritage of the world.
The ambassador also prayed for early recovery of Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
The Unesco’s recognition of the historic 7th March Speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as part of the world's documentary heritage has brought a rare honour for all.
This historic speech served as a proven force for all during the Liberation War and has immense contribution to glorious Liberation War.
Expatriate Bangladesh community thanked the embassy for organising the discussion and for the initiative to translate the speech in Dutch language.
Dhaka, Mar 8 (UNB) - US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller has visited the Chittagong Hill Tracts and key USAID development programs this week.
During his visit, Ambassador Miller reviewed USAID's work with local communities to build resilient livelihoods and forest management systems that sustain biodiversity, the region’s water supply, and improve incomes, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Friday.
Ambassador Miller, accompanied by USAID Mission Director Derrick Brown, met residents and local government and community leaders.
In his engagements, Ambassador Miller said the U.S. government works closely with the Government of Bangladesh and other development partners to improve economic opportunities for local communities and promote conservation of the unique natural resources in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
USAID has helped 24,000 local community members improve their livelihoods through vegetable, poultry, pig, and goat farming.
As part of improving water security, USAID programs have increased access to safe drinking water while reducing community dependence on timber and other forest products.
USAID has also partnered with the Bangladesh Forest Department and local communities to plant 625 hectares of trees in reserve forests. Another 920 hectares will be reforested this year.
Ambassador Miller also saw first-hand the changing climate risks facing the region and efforts underway to improve responsiveness to natural disasters.
Ambassador Miller and Mission Director Derrick Brown visited the Rangamati Sadar Hospital to observe USAID training for emergency response personnel.
These training sessions enhance the capacity of health care personnel throughout the Chittagong Hill Tracts for emergency preparedness for mass casualty and disaster management.
The site visits were undertaken in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations Development Programme.
The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971.
In 2018, USAID provided nearly $219 million in development assistance to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programs that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change.