Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Unicef is requesting US$ 152.5 million this year to meet the lifesaving and humanitarian-development needs of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi host communities, it said on Tuesday.
Millions of children living in countries affected by conflicts and disasters lack access to vital child protection services, putting their safety, wellbeing and futures at risk, Unicef warned as it appealed for $3.9 billion to support its work for children in humanitarian crises.
Unicef’s Humanitarian Action for Children sets out the agency’s 2019 appeal and its efforts to provide 41 million children with access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in 59 countries across the globe.
Since August 2017, more than 730,000 Rohingya, including 400,000 children, have fled violence in Myanmar and settled in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, according to Unicef.
Despite the enormous challenges of the magnitude and extreme speed of the influx, Unicef extended life-saving services to over 1.2 million refugees and affected host communities.
Some 380,000 people were provided with access to safe drinking water; 145,209 Rohingya children got basic education, 20,000 children under five treated for severe acute malnutrition and 1,235,475 people over 1 year old received oral cholera vaccine. Thanks to the donors for their generous support.
Funding for child protection programmes accounts for $385 million of the overall appeal, including almost $121 million for protection services for children affected by the Syria crisis.
“Today, millions of children living through conflict or disaster are suffering horrific levels of violence, distress and trauma,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“The impact of our child protection work cannot be overstated. When children do not have safe places to play, when they cannot be reunited with their families, when they don’t receive psychosocial support, they won’t heal from the unseen scars of war.”
Unicef estimates that more than 34 million children living through conflict and disaster lack access to child protection services, including 6.6 million children in Yemen, 5.5 million children in Syria and 4 million children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Child protection services include all efforts to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, trauma and violence.
Unicef also works to ensure that the protection of children is central to all other areas of the organisation’s humanitarian programmes, including water, sanitation and hygiene, education and other areas of work by identifying, mitigating and responding to potential dangers to children’s safety and wellbeing.
However, funding constraints, as well as other challenges, including warring parties’ growing disregard for international humanitarian law and the denial of humanitarian access, mean that aid agencies’ capacity to protect children is severely limited.
In the DRC, for example, Unicef received just a third of the $21 million required for child protection programmes in 2018, while around one-fifth of child protection funding for Syrian children remained unmet.
“Providing these children with the support they need is critical, but without significant and sustained international action, many will continue to fall through the cracks,” said Manuel Fontaine, Unicef Director of Emergency Programmes. “The international community should commit to supporting the protection of children in emergencies.”
This includes the provision of essential nutrition, health, WASH, protection and education services. Given the country’s high level of risk for natural hazards, the humanitarian system’s capacity to prepare for and respond to sudden-onset disasters/ epidemics will be supported throughout the country.
The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, yet today, more countries are embroiled in internal or international conflict than at any other time in the past three decades, threatening the safety and wellbeing of millions of children.
Unicef’s appeal comes one month after the children’s agency said that the world is failing to protect children living in conflict around the world, with catastrophic consequences.
The children who are continuously exposed to violence or conflict, especially at a young age, are at risk of living in a state of toxic stress – a condition that, without the right support can lead to negative life-long consequences for their cognitive, social and emotional development.
Some children impacted by war, displacement and other traumatic events – such as sexual and gender-based violence – require specialized care to help them cope and recover.
The five largest individual appeals are for Syrian refugees and host communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey (US$ 904 million); Yemen (US$ 542.3 million); The Democratic Republic of the Congo (US$ 326.1 million); Syria (US$ 319.8 million) and South Sudan (US$ 179.2 million).
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commissioner to Singapore Md Mustafizur Rahman has said Bangladeshi doctors have earned good name and fame for Bangladesh abroad through their professional excellence, hard work and dedication.
He urged the Bangladeshi doctors to utilise their working experience in Singapore, professional expertise and application of the latest technologies for the development of the health sector in Bangladesh.
While addressing a function at the High Commission auditorium recently, the High Commissioner also said they can play an important role in portraying a positive image of the country to foreigners.
Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore organised the event titled ‘Networking with Bangladeshi Doctors in Singapore,’ said the Commission on Tuesday.
A total of 21 Bangladeshi doctors working in different hospitals of Singapore attended the networking event along with their families.
In the interactive session, many doctors said they are facing serious challenges in obtaining Singapore Permanent Residency which in turn is affecting their professional growth, residency, job and training opportunities.
They requested the High Commission to take initiatives to resolve the issue as well as help them get more job opportunities in Singapore.
The High Commissioner assured them of broaching up the concerns of Bangladeshi doctors with the Singapore authority.
The doctors appreciated the initiative of the High Commission for arranging such a networking event for Bangladeshi doctors and their families in Singapore, which they hoped would strengthen the bond of fraternity among the doctors and help them work united way for their cause.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh will remain a priority market for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2019 despite infrastructure stakeholders’ concerns about inflationary pressures and their projected depreciation of the taka, said a new report released on Tuesday.
According to the inaugural Asian Infrastructure Finance report, there continue to be significant infrastructure investment opportunities across Asia, including in Bangladesh, despite current market uncertainty and short-term challenges.
In contrast to other countries in the report, a marginal reduction in infrastructure borrowing costs over the next 12 months is expected in Bangladesh due to a more competitive domestic financing environment.
In other words, lending spreads are expected to narrow as the financial sector strengthens, due to more long-term lenders in the market.
However, currency volatility could affect project financing, although multilateral development banks are expected to help with the hedging challenge.
“Bangladesh is a fast-growing economy and its improving economic conditions present a great opportunity to address infrastructure shortfalls,” said AIIB Vice President Policy and Strategy Joachim von Amsberg.
“We remain committed to working with the Bangladeshi government and other partners to identify infrastructure projects that are financially sound and have the potential for significant economic impact.”
AIIB is actively reviewing several projects in the transport, energy and water sectors including the Mymensingh Kewatkhali Bridge Project and the Sylhet to Tamabil Road Upgradation Project.
To date, AIIB’s Board of Directors has approved up to USD 274 million for three projects in the energy sector.
As governments grapple with the need for macroeconomic stabilisation and sustaining a high level of infrastructure investment to meet growing demands, AIIB is developing strategies to help its members respond to short and long-term challenges in infrastructure development.
“There’s a growing awareness of Bangladesh’s economic potential,” said AIIB Principal Economist Dr Jang Ping Thia. “Improving on construction costs and project implementation would further accelerate private sector investments.”
The AIIB is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia.
Headquartered in Beijing, the bank began its operations in January 2016 and has now grown to 93 approved members worldwide.
Asian Infrastructure Finance features contributions from more than 40 industry experts across banking, financial services, project and infrastructure finance, multilateral development banks, energy and transport.
This inaugural report features benchmarks in three areas—infrastructure financing volume, infrastructure financing cost and road construction costs—to provide a snapshot of the health and direction of project financing in eight markets: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia and Turkey.
Dhaka, Jan 27 (UNB) – Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett hosted a reception on Monday evening, marking ‘Australia Day 2019’.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid attended the reception held at Australian High Commission Recreation Centre here as the chief guest.
Senior government officials, diplomats stationed in Dhaka, civil society representatives, businesspeople, cultural personalities and journalists were present.
Speaking on the occasion, State Minister Nasrul Hamid and the Australian High Commissioner highlighted the growing relationship between Bangladesh and Australia.
The two-way trade now stands at over $2bn, reflecting Bangladesh’s significant economic growth and Australia’s highly complementary commercial strengths, according to the Australian High Commission here.
Some 30,000 Bangladeshi-born people live in Australia, and the community has been growing strongly in recent years.
The relationship - forged by family, business, education - and by shared love for cricket – is striking, the two countries believe.
Dhaka, Jan 28 (UNB) - President of Incheon Support Centre for Foreign Workers Kim Jae Eup has assured Bangladeshi workers in South Korea to resolve their difficulties, if any, by engaging with them intensely through counseling and other methods.
He also encouraged them to learn different skills, offered by the centre free of charge, to adapt to this country.
Kim Jae was addressing a seminar titled ‘Seminar for Bangladeshi EPS Workers on Do's and Don'ts while staying in Korea’ jointly organised by the Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul and Incheon Support Centre for Foreign Workers in the Incheon Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea recently, said the Embassy on Monday.
Bangladesh Ambassador to South Korea Abida Islam, first secretary (Labour) Mokima Begum, Representative of HRD Korea Kim Hyeon Saeng and Team Director of HRD Korea Yun A Sun were present during the seminar.
Before the start of the seminar, 73 Bangladesh EPS (Employment Permit System) workers filled out the job application forms provided by HRD Korea, which will facilitate their employment in Korean companies based in Bangladesh upon their return on completion of their tenure here.
Ambassador Abida Islam thanked the Incheon Support Centre for their support and hoped to profoundly engage with HRD Korea in organising such events in the future, said the Bangladesh Embassy on Monday.