UNICEF launching first large-scale fundraising campaign in Bangladesh this Ramadan
This Ramadan, UNICEF is launching a large-scale campaign to raise funds for malnourished children in Bangladesh. For the first time, the fundraising campaign is taking place inside Bangladesh, appealing to the growing affluent class who are more able to donate towards helping children in their own country. With a strong economy, Bangladesh reached lower-middle-income country status in 2015 and aims to become an upper-middle-income country by 2031. At the same time, the country’s economic progress and success mean that Bangladesh receives less foreign aid. Read More: Multiple crises set to plunge more children into poverty, ILO and UNICEF report warns “The economic progress in Bangladesh has created enhanced opportunities for us to take care of the underprivileged section of our population and to ensure that we leave no one behind. The success of Bangladesh needs to be reflected through the children, who are our future and who also depend on us for their education, healthcare and well-being,” said Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of the Government of Bangladesh. UNICEF – which is funded entirely through voluntary contributions – has been on the ground in Bangladesh for over 70 years, saving children’s lives and protecting children’s rights. Globally, UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. The UNICEF Ramadan fundraising campaign is a first-ever invitation from UNICEF to people in Bangladesh to let their good deeds echo for malnourished children around the country together with UNICEF. Read More: UNICEF wants investment in world's first child-focused climate risk financing solution The most common forms of malnutrition are stunting (low height for age) or wasting (low weight for height). Bangladesh has made impressive progress in addressing malnutrition. Stunting was reduced from 42 per cent in 2013 to 28 per cent in 2019. Yet, over five million Bangladeshi children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition. Stunting is caused by chronic or recurring undernutrition, and the damage done to a child’s body and brain by stunting cannot be reversed. It drags down performance at school and later at work, and puts a child at a higher risk of dying from infectious diseases. Wasting is an acute form of undernourishment which can be fatal. It is characterized by recent and severe weight loss which is often caused by lack of food and by disease. Children born to the poorest families are more likely to suffer from stunting and wasting. And when disasters such as floods strike, these already vulnerable children are at heightened risk. Read More: Heatwaves to impact almost every child by 2050: UNICEF report “There is no greater cause than championing children’s health, education and rights. This Ramadan, UNICEF invites the people of Bangladesh to join hands with UNICEF to help the most vulnerable children in their own country,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.
Fundamentalist forces responsible for attack: Ahmadiyya leaders tell US ambassador
Following recent attacks on the community in Panchagarh, leaders of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Bangladesh (AMJ) held communal and fundamentalist forces responsible when US Ambassador Peter Haas visited the AMJ centre in Dhaka. Lauding PM Sheikh Hasina for immediate rehabilitation efforts to help the affected Ahmadiyya families in Panchagarh, the community leaders also pointed out that the attacks are part of a ploy to diminish communal harmony in Bangladesh. They referred to a nexus among national and foreign hands aiming to create a “Pakistan styled chaos,” according to a press release signed by Ahmad Tabshir Choudhury, secretary of AMJ’s public relations. Read more: Fakhrul says govt allowed the Ahmadiyya religious event, calls it ‘controversial’ Ahmadiyya leaders told the US ambassador (on March 20, 2023) that the attacks were an affront to the ideals of secularism and communal harmony that were the driving force behind the creation of Bangladesh – breaking away from “fundamentalist Pakistan”, reads the AMJ press release. Ahmad Tabshir also said that over 10 years of the Awami League government (2009 – 2018), AMJ saw a significant decline in the number of attacks that they faced during the earlier BNP-Jamaat government. From 2003 to 2006, at least 36 attacks were carried out against AMJ, he said. Earlier, Ahmad Tabshir had termed the remark made by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir about the community’s religious event that was attacked as “irresponsible” and “disheartening”, and said it “goes against their constitutional right”. Fakhrul had said, the government allowed the Ahmadiyya community’s religious event in Panchagarh, and called the congregation “controversial”. Communal attacks on the Ahmadiyya community’s religious event in Panchagarh on March 3 left at least two dead and over 50 injured. The angry mob also looted around 20 houses belonging to the Ahmadiyya community located in Ahmednagar. Basherkella – a pro-Jamaat-e-Islami Twitter account – condemned police action to stop the violence over the Ahmadiyya religious event and called for “boycotting” the community. The Ahmadiyya community has called it a “hate campaign” against them. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Acting Secretary General Maulana ATM Masum issued a statement on March 5, asking the government to officially declare the Ahmadiyya community “non-Muslim”.
PM underlines a roadmap to turn Bangladesh into an aviation hub
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (March 22, 2023) stressed the need for preparing a roadmap aimed at making Bangladesh an aviation hub in the region. “Reaping on the dividend of our geo-strategic advantage, we should create a roadmap as to how we can make our country an aviation hub,” she said in a video statement aired in the inaugural session of the first edition of Aviation Summit in Dhaka. The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, in collaboration with the UK and France, organised the Bangladesh Aviation Summit-2023 at a city hotel here. Read more: Working to ensure houses for all homeless people: PM Hasina Hasina said this summit is very significant for Bangladesh in the context of the South Asian nation’s aspiration to become an aviation hub in the region. She said just after achieving the membership of ICAO in 1973, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman undertook measures to turn Bangladesh into an ‘Aviation Hub’ to connect the East and the West, capitalizing the advantage of our geographical location. After the assassination of the Father of the Nation in 1975, the move came to a halt, she added. “We have undertaken several measures to support the development of an aviation hub. During the last one decade, we implemented a host of projects to upgrade our airports, airport security and ground handling,” said the prime minister. Read More: Bangladesh Monitor holds seminar to promote smart aviation Besides, a number of projects are running which include HSIA Expansion Project (Phase-I), Construction of General Aviation Hangar, Hangar Apron and Apron at North side of Fire Station at HSIA; Strengthening of Existing Runway and Taxiway at Shah Amanat International Airport, Chattogram; Development of Cox’s Bazar Airport (Phase-I), Cox’s Bazar Airport Runway Extension Project; Strengthening of Existing Runway and Taxiway at Osmani International Airport, Sylhet; and Enhancement of Capacity of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh on Public Security at HSIA, she noted. The third terminal being constructed under HSIA Expansion Project (Phase-I), will create handling capacity of additional 12 million passengers and 4 million ton cargos, she said. “The transformation of our economy helped boost the travel opportunities for our people and open up new routes and markets for our airlines. When Bangladesh will turn into an Upper Middle Income Country by 2031 and a developed country by 2041, the aviation market will be further expanded,” she added. Read More: PM Hasina: Bangladesh to become aviation gateway between the east and the west PM Hasina said as the economy of Bangladesh has grown, so has the importance of air cargo. “The air cargo market of Bangladesh is rapidly growing at 8 percent per year – three times the world average. This underlines the strong demand for a dedicated national cargo operation in our country. With all of this in mind, there are areas where aviation actors need to do more,” she said. The PM asked relevant government organisations, the airlines and other stakeholders to carry out their responsibility to create conducive environment for the development and sustaining market both for passengers and cargo. Read More: Concerted efforts needed to solve aviation sector’s problems: Speakers “The government is going to introduce e-visa system which will also facilitate and expedite the flow of passengers visiting Bangladesh for business or tourism,” she said. Noting that the promising aviation industry requires skilled manpower, she said, “Our youth must have the opportunities to be trained to become pilots, aeronautics engineers, mechanics, crew members and much more.” She hoped that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, established by her government, would be able to cater the demand of skilled manpower in the country’s aviation and aerospace industry. Read More: Bangladesh, France keen to build partnership in aviation, space, aerospace technology She said the aviation industry has to lead by example in tackling climate change and strive to meet SDGs. De-carbonation and sustainable aviation fuel are topics which will require investments, concrete actions and the support from developed aviation nations. “The aviation partnership proposed by the UK and France, through Airbus, to support us in our journey is very crucial,” said the PM. Prime Minister’s Private Industries and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman and State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md. Mahbub Ali were also present at the summit. Read More: Police aviation wing taking shape: Four ASPs complete basic course to be pilots.
Working to ensure houses for all homeless people: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said her government has been working to ensure all homeless people get houses with lands. “Not a single person will remain homeless or landless in Bangladesh. We’ve been working to implement this goal,” she said. The premier said this while providing 39,365 more houses with two-decimal lands in the 4th phase under Ashrayan-2 project to landless and homeless families. On her behalf, public representatives –ministers, MPs and Upazila chairman-- as well as government officials –Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Upaizla Nirbahi Officers-- who were present at different project sites handed over the house certificates and land documents to the beneficiaries of 493 upazilas across the country. With the distribution of the houses under the 4th phase of Ashrayan-2 project, nine districts and 211 upazilas have now no one without a home and land. Earlier, Hasina provided 63,999 houses in the first phase, 53,330 ones in the second phase and 59,133 in the third phase under the Ashrayan-2, a project of the Prime Minister’s Office, since January 2021. With the distribution of 39,365 houses in the 4th phase, the total number has stood at 215, 827 under the Ashrayan-2 Project. The premier also declared seven more districts and 159 more upazilas as homeless and landless-free areas. Seven districts are Madaripur, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Joypurhat, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Chuadanga.
Advance sale of train ticket for Eid journey to start April 7
Bangladesh Railway will start selling advance train tickets on April 7 for Eid-ul-Fitr, said Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan on Wednesday. Nine pairs of special trains will run on different routes to ease journey of home-bound people during Eid, he said at a press briefing at the Rail Bhaban. Advance train tickets for April, 17, 18,19,20,21 will be available on April 7, 8,9,10, and 11 respectively while the selling of return tickets will begin from April 15, he said. Among the nine pairs of special trains—Chattogram Eid Special 1 and 3 will run on Chattogram-Chandpur-Chattogram route and Chandpur Edi special-2 and 4 and Dewanganj Eid Special-5 will run on Chandpur-Chattogram-Chandpur route, Dewanganj Eid Special 5 and 6 will run on Dhaka-Dewanganj-Dhaka route, Mymensingh Eid Special-7 and Mymensingh Eid Special-8 will run on Chattogram-Mymensingh-Chattogram route, Eid special 9 and 10 will run on Sylhet-Chandpur-Sylhet route. Also read: Eid-ul-Azha: Advance train ticket sale begins on July 1 All the trains will be available four days before the Eid-ul-Fitr and five days after Eid. Meanwhile, Sholakia Eid Special 11 and 12 will run on Bhairab Bazar-Kishoreganj-Bhairab Bazar route and Sholakia Eid Special 13-14 will run on Mymensingh-Kishoreganj-Mymensingh route on Eid day.
Writ petition seeks probe into graft allegation against Khulna Wasa MD
A writ petition has been filed with the High Court seeking its order to investigate the allegations of irregularities and corruption against the Managing Director of Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) Md Abdullah. Supreme Court lawyer Imadul Haque Bashir filed the writ petition on Tuesday. The writ petition sought its order asking the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the allegations brought against Md Abdullah. Also Read: Decision to award performance bonus to Wasa staffers illegal: HC It also sought issuance of a rule asking the government to explain as to why the appointment of Khulna Wasa MD should not be declared illegal. Secretary to the Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Ministry, deputy secretary to the ministry, chairman of PSC, chairman of Khulna Wasa, ACC and Khulna Wasa MD have been made respondents to the rule. Also Read: Dhaka Wasa rubbishes report on MD’s 14 US houses as baseless According to the writ petition, many reports were published in different newspapers about the irregularities and corruption of Khulna Wasa MD Abdullah. Despite these, Abdullah remained in the post and no investigation was conducted against him, it said. The writ petition is likely to be heard next week.
Another 39,365 homeless families get free houses, lands from PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (March 22, 2023) provided 39,365 more houses with two-decimal lands to landless and homeless families as part of the government's target of ensuring housing for all. With the distribution of the houses under the 4th phase of Ashrayan-2 project, nine districts and 211 upazilas have so far gained the status of landless and homeless family-free status in the country. The premier opened the handing over of the abodes to the homeless families, joining a virtual ceremony at her official residence Ganabhaban. Also read: Ashrayan Project: Govt thoroughly scrutinizing “irregularities” On her behalf, public representatives –ministers, MPs and Upazila chairman-- as well as government officials –Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Upaizla Nirbahi Officers-- who were present at different project sites handed over the house certificate and land documents to the beneficiaries of 493 upazilas across the country. Earlier, Hasina provided 63,999 houses in the first phase, 53,330 ones in the second phase and 59,133 in the third phase under the Ashrayan-2, a project of the Prime Minister’s Office. With the distribution of 39,365 houses in the 4th phase, the total number has stood at 215, 827 under the Ashrayan-2 Project. Read More: Islami Bank donates Tk4 crore to Ashrayan Project The premier also declared seven more districts and 159 upazilas as homeless and landless-free areas. Seven districts are Madaripur, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Joypurhat, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Chuadanga. Earlier, she declared Panchagarh and Magura as homeless-landless free districts and 52 upazilas as homeless-landless free upazilas. With the distribution of 39,365 houses, a total of 196,825 people have got a shelter, getting semi-pucca houses on their own lands. Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Mohammad Tofazzel Hossain Miah conducted the event. Read More: Erosion: Dumuria’s Ashrayan project houses at risk of washing away Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced the rehabilitation programme for homeless people in 1972. Following the footprints of Bangabandhu, her daughter PM Hasina took the initiative to provide ownership of houses and lands to homeless and landless people through the Ashrayan Project in 1997. Since then, a total of 771,301 families have so far been rehabilitated. The number of rehabilitated people is 38,56,505 (estimated as five persons in a family). Read More: 230 ethnic minority families to get ‘Machang Ghar’ in Bandarban under Ashrayan scheme Some 5,54,597 families were rehabilitated directly under the Ashrayan Project, while 2,16,704 families under different programmes of concerned government offices, including the Land Ministry and Disaster Management and Relief Ministry.
47 shops gutted in Bandarban‘s Thanchi market fire
At least 47 shops were gutted in a fire at Bolibazar area in Bandarban’s Thanchi upazila this morning (March 22). Locals said the fire broke out at a shop in the market at around 5:50 am, and it soon engulfed the adjoining shops. On information, two fire service units reached the site and it took them nearly two hours to douse the flames, reports the UNB correspondent. Also Read: Hanif Paribahan bus catches fire in Chattogram Thanchi upazila Chairman Thoai Hla Mong Marma said locals informed him that the fire broke out from an electric stove. No casualties were reported as of writing this report at 11 am.
Rains likely in parts of country in 24 hours
The weather department has predicted light to moderate rain or thunder showers in parts of the country in 24 hours, starting from 9 am today (March 22, 2023). “Light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at a few places over Chattogram, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places Rangpur, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna and Barishal divisions with moderately heavy falls at places over the country,” said the Met office bulletin. Also read: More rains likely to drench Bangladesh Day temperature may rise slightly and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country, it said. The lowest temperature in the country was recorded at 16.3 degrees Celsius in Tetulia of Panchagarh district while the highest temperature was recorded at 32.6 degrees Celsius in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar district. The weather office recorded the highest 82 mm rainfall in Feni. Read More: UN science report to provide stark climate warning
Bangladesh, Bhutan sign agreement on movement of traffic in transit
Bangladesh and Bhutan today signed an agreement on the movement of traffic in transit. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi signed the agreement on behalf of the government of Bangladesh. Also Read: Cabinet okays Bhutan's use of land and sea ports This landmark agreement is expected to facilitate trade and commerce between the two countries for shared prosperity, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also Read: India to help Bangladesh import hydropower from Nepal, Bhutan: FS