Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has lauded the women peacekeepers globally for their outstanding contribution to international peace and security.
She was speaking at a high-level virtual event titled “Key to Peace, Key to Protection: Women Peacekeepers in Action” to mark the International Day of Peacekeepers and the Protection of Civilian Week in New York recently.
The event was jointly organized by the Permanent Missions of Canada, Ghana, and Zambia to the United Nations, said a media release on Sunday.
Stressing the importance of ensuring meaningful, equal, and full participation of women in peace operations, she said as a tribute to UN peacekeepers, this year Bangladesh has issued a set of commemorative stamps with UN Post, which includes a stamp featuring the first ever women fighter pilots from Bangladesh deployed to UN peace operations.
These stamps commemorate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who dreamt of a world free of conflict, inequality, and injustice, she said.
In reiterating Bangladesh’s unwavering commitment to put women to the forefront of the peacekeeping operations, she highlighted Bangladesh’s historic involvement with the adoption of the landmark Security Council resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security (WPS) and the recent adoption of the National Action Plan to implement it.
Bangladesh led by example to become the first country to deploy a woman military contingent commander in UN history in Cote d’Ivoire in 2016.
It was also one of the first countries to deploy all-women Formed Police Unit in Haiti in 2010.
Today Bangladesh features among the top countries in terms of her contribution of women peacekeepers to the UN Peacekeeping Operations.
Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne spoke at the event among other speakers and panelists.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $231,178 grant to augment novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related facilities in 134 urban primary health centers, also called Nogor Swastho Kendro, across the country.
The health centers are providing primary healthcare services to the urban poor under the ADB-supported Urban Primary Health Care Services Delivery Project in 9 city corporations and 4 municipalities, said a press release.
“We are pleased to provide this grant assistance to further strengthen government’s efforts in managing the COVID-19 pandemic and delivering related services to the people,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.
“This initiative will be a model of providing both COVID and non-COVID-related healthcare services for over 8 million urban poor through Nogor Swastho Kendro in Bangladesh.” “The program will also create awareness about COVID-19 prevention and management and help the health workers and doctors to detect and treat patients early,” Parkash added.
The assistance will help set up hand washing stations and screening booths, provide WHO standard personal protective equipment (PPE) suits to about 2,700 doctors and health workers working under the project, launch awareness programs about COVID-19 prevention and management, and provide training on COVID-19 detection and treatment to health workers and doctors.
The grant assistance is sourced from ADB’s Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund, under the Urban Financing Partnership Facility.
ADB has a strong track record of responding rapidly to provide targeted support to Bangladesh in times of emergencies. On 7 May, ADB approved $500 million to strengthen Bangladesh’s efforts to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 30 April, ADB approved a $100 million concessional loan to support the government of Bangladesh in its efforts to address the immediate public health requirements of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ADB had released a $350,000 emergency grant for the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, and $1.3 million from an existing project to provide one-time cash support to 22,619 trainees to enable them to continue their ongoing skills training program.
On 13 April, ADB tripled the size of its initial response to COVID-19 to $20 billion and approved measures to streamline its operations for quicker and more flexible delivery of assistance to help its developing member countries counter the severe macroeconomic and health impacts caused by the pandemic.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in collaboration with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), has assisted 85 communities as well as people living in urban areas in the three Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) districts affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 30,000 people from 6,000 families received one-off assistance in a form of unconditional cash grant of Tk 4,500/family to improve their food consumption between May19 to 24, supported by the BDRCS and ICRC, said the ICRC on Saturday.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated, many people, especially in hard to reach CHT communities, are facing acute food shortages due to lack of work, it said.
The communities in dire need require assistance to cope with the ever-changing situation. Explaining the objective of this cash support program, M. A. Halim, Community Development Director, BDRCS, said through local BDRCS units they are reaching families whose members tested positive to COVID-19, households depending on daily wages, families with no access to income, women-headed households, persons with disabilities etc. to meet their basic food and non-food needs.
Such assistance to the families highly affected by the current COVID-19 emergency will have an improved impact on their dietary diversity and help restore the food consumption in quantity and quality, while covering their other basic needs.
Elaborating the continued support in CHT, Laura Diskin, Field Protection Delegate of ICRC Bangladesh, said they have been supporting both Bangali and ethnic minority communities since 2014 in partnership with the BDRCS.
"In times of COVID-19 pandemic, our diverse humanitarian support like cash assistance, in-kind food distribution, support to district prison authorities and preventive messaging on COVID-19 is catered to help the communities as well as complement government efforts to cope with the adapted situation.”
Besides this support, Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari district prisons have received hygiene items to tackle the spread of coronavirus among the prison population, including both detainees and prison staff alike; while BDRCS volunteers continue to assist the district detention authority to implement the Infection Prevention and Control measures. In addition, food parcels were distributed to 3,000 families in the three CHT districts covering seven days of need, implemented by the BDRCS with the financial support from ICRC.
Preventive audio messaging on COVID-19 continues to be sent to more than 200 community leaders across the CHT region while such messages in the form of leaflets have further been shared during the cash distribution.
Meanwhile, a two-way communication system, through hotline and feedback mail, is being implemented in coordination with the BDRCS; collecting feedback, complaints and/or suggestions directly from the people.
In addition, the ICRC continues to conduct information sessions on International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, as well as Use of Force and firearms to Law Enforcement Agencies in Bangladesh, including CHT.
The ICRC, in partnership with the BDRCS, has been implementing community-based livelihood support programs since 2014 while helping the communities access safe drinking water and sanitation and hygiene programs since 2016 in an integrated way.
The UN Postal Administration, jointly with the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York, has issued a set of commemorative stamps as a tribute to UN peacekeepers and marking the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The initiatives were taken on the occasion of the ‘2020 International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers (Peacekeepers Day)’ held in New York on Friday.
The commemorative stamp folio features Bangladesh’s flag, logo of MUJIB 100, portrait of Bangabandhu and images of UN Peacekeeping services around the world.
The images include the iconic posture of two Bangladesh female helicopter pilots, first ever deployed in the UN history.
Responding to the occasion, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima said, “This is a humble, yet fitting tribute to Bangabandhu’s visionary leadership and doctrine of peace which defines our foreign policy; to our commitment to UN peacekeeping; as also to our valiant and selfless peacekeepers.”
Release of the commemorative stamps is a part of the year-long activities of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to observe the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation.
This is also a recognition of Bangladesh’s glorious peacekeeping record and contribution to UN Peacekeeping operations, which has its genesis in the pronouncement of the Father of the Nation at the UN General Assembly in 1974, “Peace is imperative for the survival of humanity’ and in his overarching principle of ‘Friendship to all, malice towards none”.
To observe the Day at the UNHQs in New York on Friday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres laid a wreath in honour of all fallen peacekeepers and paid tribute to those who carry their service in the cause of peace.
The Secretary-General subsequently held a virtual ceremony to award Dag Hammarskjöld Medals posthumously to 83 peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2019.
Two Bangladesh peacekeepers, Constable Mohammad Omar Farouk and Sainik Atiqul Islam, who made supreme sacrifice in line of duty in 2019, were also given this posthumous award.
The PR of Bangladesh joined the PRs of other member states in the commemorative ceremony which carried a message from her given on the Day.
Bangladesh, a top troop and police contributing country, started its journey with UN peacekeeping in 1988 having contributed 1,70,221 peacekeepers in 42 peacekeeping missions so far.
Currently, 6,543 Bangladeshi peacekeepers are deployed in 9 peacekeeping missions around the world.
Bangladesh has released names of 23 out of 26 Bangladeshi citizens killed in an attack by human traffickers in Libya on Thursday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs with information from Bangladesh Embassy in Tripoli also provided the identities of the injured.
The 23 deceased are -- Sujan and Kamrul from Gopalganj; Jakir Hossain, Jewel, Firuz, Jewel-2, Manik, Asadul, Aynal Mollah, Monir, Sajib, Shaheen, and Shamim from Madaripur; Arfan from Dhaka; Lal Chand from Magura; Rajon, Rahim, Shakil, Sakib, Akash, Shohag and Muhammad Ali from Kishoreganj; and Rakibul from Jashore.
Besides, the injured citizens are -- Firoz Bepari from Madaripur Sadar; Md Sajid from Bhanga upazila of Faridpur; Md Janu Mia, Md Sajal Mia and Md Shohag Ahmed from Bhairab upazila of Kishoreganj; Omar Sheikh from Muksudpur of Gopalganj; Md Torikul Islam from Magura; Md Bokul Hossain from Alamdanga upazila of Chuadanga; Md Ali and Md Samrat Khalasi and Sayedul Islam from Madaripur; and Bappi from Chuadanga.
They are now undergoing treatment at Tripoli Medical Centre in the Libyan capital and six of them are out of danger.
At least 26 Bangladeshi citizens were killed and 11 others injured in a gun attack reportedly by some human traffickers in Libya on Thursday.
Also read: 26 Bangladeshis killed in Libya gun attack
They were killed in the town of Mizda, about 180 kilometers away from Tripoli, said the Embassy.
The Embassy came to know about the incident over phone from one of the Bangladeshi survivors who took shelter in a Libyan family after the incident.