Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide around $ 5bn to Bangladesh for 2020-2022, aiming to further strengthen its partnership to promote rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth in the country.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently and handed over ADB’s new Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for 2020-2022, which programs around $5 billion in firm projects.
Projects worth another $4.9 billion have been included in the pipeline as “standby”.
The projects will be taken up for ADB financing based on their readiness.
Country Director Parkash appraised Prime Minister Hasina of the ADB’s enhanced development programs for Bangladesh, ADB said in a media release on Friday.
The COBP aligns with the government’s Seventh Five-Year Plan and ADB’s Strategy 2030 and supports implementation of sustainable development goals targets.
It is also aligned with the government’s new manifesto, which highlights the priorities and sets the stage for the next 5-year plan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appreciated ADB assistance and highlighted her government’s priorities for infrastructure and human capital development, science and technology research, rural and agricultural development, and private sector promotion.
Complimenting Prime Minister Hasina on strong economic performance, Country Director Parkash said that the new COBP is consistent with government priorities and a pathway to prosperity.
He reaffirmed ADB’s continued assistance to further strengthen its partnership to promote sustainable growth in Bangladesh.
ADB assistance is well distributed in infrastructure and social sectors. About 54% of sovereign investments (by volume) will further improve human capital; enhance urban services, water supply and sanitation; strengthen road, railway and port connectivity; promote rural development; and improve access and quality of electricity supply.
The lending prioritises skills development and tertiary education with an emphasis on information technology.
It also prioritises Bangladesh’s participation in regional and global value chains by furthering regional cooperation and integration in the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) and beyond.
The program will enable greater private sector investment by easing credit constraints and facilitating local currency bonds.
Major projects include Dhaka-Sylhet Road, Joydevpur-Elenga-Rangpur-Burimari-Banglabandha road, Faridpur-Barishal road, dual gauging of Dhaka-Chattogram rail lines, Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line, Dhaka MRT Line 5 (Gabtoli-Panthapath-Aftabnagar), Skills for Employment Project, Computer and Software Engineering Tertiary Education Project, Dhaka Sewerage System and Water Supply Projects, and Khulna Sewerage System Development Project.
The pipeline also includes projects to automate revenue administration, develop bond markets, strengthen the banking system, and improve irrigation, rural connectivity and electrification.
In its 46-year-long partnership with Bangladesh, ADB has mobilized over $25 billion in loans and grants to help bring better infrastructure, public services, and social development outcomes to the people of Bangladesh.
In 2018 alone, ADB approved a record $2.5 billion in assistance to the country.
This included a grant of $100 million as the first phase of a projected $200 million support for the immediate needs of people sheltered in the camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar region.
Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) - A day-long fair of Bangladesh’s Jamdani, muslin and other handloom saris attracted a large crowd in Delhi on Thursday.
The creations of Mantasha Ahmed and Nasreen Jahan, owners of two popular fashion houses in Dhaka, the display was organised by Association Fashion Designers of Bangladesh (ATDB) and Bangladesh High Commission (BDHC) Spouses Club in New Delhi.
It was opened by Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali at the mission’s Maitree Hall.
Some of the master pieces – bright, colourful and full of motifs – of the weavers were put on display.
In 2013, UNESCO declared the traditional art of weaving Jamdani as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and in 2016 Bangladesh received the GI status of Jamadani sari.
The fair was second such initiative by the same organisers in two years, said the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of 2 million euro from the European Union (EU) for its emergency operation in Bangladesh.
It will help WFP sustain lifesaving food assistance to Rohingya refugees, and address the high rates of malnutrition among children and mothers. This will help protect the Rohingyas from monsoon season risks.
“Two years on since the biggest influx of the Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh, the situation in the camps in Cox’s Bazar remains critical,” says Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Bangladesh.
Ragan said 80 percent of nearly 1 million refugees depend entirely on WFP’s food assistance. “This timely funding from the EU will help us support the most vulnerable children and women. Part of it will also go towards our disaster preparedness work in the camps.”
Cox’s Bazar is the largest and most densely populated refugee camp in the world.
The Rohingyas are facing heightened risks during the current monsoon season. Camps have already been flooded and threatened with landslides.
The new EU contribution will help WFP ensure that refugee needs are met during this challenging time, said a press release.
In 2018, the EU provided 12 million euro to help WFP respond to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Rohingya refugees, playing a major role in enabling WFP’s continuing transition from in-kind food distribution to an electronic voucher system.
Half of all refugees now receive food assistance through e-vouchers and by early next year all refugees will receive food this way.
“Through our collective efforts, we’ve saved many lives since the Rohingya crisis began over two years ago,” said Christos Stylianides, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
“The challenge however is far from over as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya rely on humanitarian aid to survive,” Stylianides said.
“This latest contribution from the European Union is a testament to our continued commitment to help those in need, ensuring that they continue to receive life-saving food assistance from our partner WFP while being protected from the effects of the monsoons.”
Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) – The icddr,b is organising the 15th Asian Conference on Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition (ASCODD 2020) next year.
It will be held on 28-30 January, 2020 in the city.
This year’s theme is ‘Typhoid, Cholera, other enteric diseases and their relationship to nutritional disorders: Persisting challenges for low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in an era of humanitarian crisis’.
The theme and significance of the conference is centred on two major burdens of enteric bacterial diseases in this decade - Cholera and Typhoid which together cause 23 million episodes and 300,000 deaths globally.
The conference focuses on the latest issues in enteric infections, nutrition, policy and practice.
It includes four symposia on subjects of global interest - Typhoid conjugate vaccine: prospects for use in Asia and Africa; Ending cholera 2030: Initiatives and challenges; Environmental enteropathy, gut microbiota and childhood malnutrition; and Antimicrobial Resistance and its impact on treatment of enteric infections.
The first-ever ASCODD was held in Dhaka and was organised by icddr,b in 1982.
Since then, ASCODD has emerged as a bridge between young researchers and global experts by facilitating knowledge sharing, ideas and research collaboration.
The 1982 conference envisioned a wider geographical scope and participations from other Asian nations. Later in 1983, the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata, India joined the initiative along with Indian researchers.
The past 14 conferences took place in eight Asian countries covering Bangladesh (3), India (3), Thailand (2), Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia (2) and the Philippines.
Dr Firdausi Qadri, Senior Scientist, Enteric and Respiratory Infections at icddr,b and the President of the ASCODD believes the conference will offer immense benefits to its participants.
She said Bangladesh is holding this conference after 17 years, offering a rare opportunity for researchers in the field of enteric diseases and nutrition, and to share their work and learn from other global experts.
“I believe the conference will immensely benefit them in strengthening their scientific pursuit,” she said.
Scientists and experts from the world’s leading research institutions, representatives from the World Health Organisation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as sponsors will attend the conference.
Additionally, representatives from governments, and NGOs, physicians, and medical students interested in enteric bacterial diseases can leverage opportunities of global knowledge sharing, collaboration and networking from this platform.
Students from low and middle-income countries including Bangladesh will enjoy a discounted fee for registering for the conference.
Limited number of travel grants based on selection will be awarded to young scientists to enable them to participate in the meeting.
The website (http://www.ascodd.net/) for the ASCODD 2020 is now live to enable participants from Bangladesh and other countries to register, submit abstract.
Dhaka, Sept 13 (UNB) - Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen has stressed the importance of the role of Southern countries in the decision-making process of international economy.
He was speaking at an event to observe the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation (41st Anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action) at the UNHQs on Thursday.
The PR said there must be a more central role for the South in the international economic decision-making.
“It’s important to recognise that to bolster South-South Cooperation (SSC), a fundamental change in the global financial and economic governance structure needs to be initiated,” he said.
Aiming to boost up SSC, Ambassador Masud also flagged some other points such as delivering on ODA commitments, extending the financial support from new regional and global banks, accelerating technology transfer, implementing preferential trading rules of WTO and support from the reformed United Nations Development System (UNDS) to SSC initiatives.
The PR reiterated Bangladesh’s proposal for establishing a Ministerial Forum of Southern countries under the aegis of SSC which was proposed for the first time at BAPA+40 Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
Ambassador Masud also referred to the South-South Centre on Knowledge and Innovation which is going to be set up by Bangladesh.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President of the High-level Committee on SSC Adonia Ayebare, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and Envoy of the Secretary General on South-South Cooperation Jorge Chediek also spoke at the event.