Bangladesh among 5 countries selected for project to strengthen preparedness to COVID-19, other infectious diseases
Bangladesh has been selected for a two-year collaborative project aimed at strengthening preparedness and response to COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). As part of the Stockpile Project, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) nominates the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as the project implementing agency for a two-year collaborative project worth USD 10 million aimed at strengthening preparedness and response to COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases in five partner countries, namely Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the Philippines. BNP’s 24-hour blockade underway with arson attacks In selecting these five countries, the IFRC has prioritized countries at risk of disasters caused by natural hazards, the effects of which have been made worse by climate change, resulting in high risk of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The USD 10 million is part of the Government of Japan's contribution to the Stockpile Project for COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases in Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries. Utilising this fund, the IFRC and national societies will implement the Stockpile Project in close connection with the public authorities through a structured set of activities. Dhaka's air 6th worst in the world this morning On November 28, an agreement signing ceremony was held at Malaysian Red Crescent National Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. During the signing of the agreement by ASEF and IFRC, the Chairperson of Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Di Raja Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Binti Almarhum Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, Tunku Temenggong Kedah made a welcome address. Among others, the ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, Takahashi Katsuhiko; ASEF Executive Director, Ambassador Toru MORIKAW; and Regional Director of IFRC, Alexander Matheou, spoke at the event. During the signing of the agreement by ASEF and IFRC, the Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Malaysia Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khastagir and Counsellor (Political) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharjee were also present. 24-hour blockade: 428 RAB patrol teams deployed The Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Malaysia expressed satisfaction on the signing of this important agreement and remarked that this project would play an effective role in improving the healthcare landscape, response mechanisms, and access to health services in Bangladesh.
The latest 24-hour road-rail-waterway blockade, called by BNP, is underway across Bangladesh with reports of arson attacks. Dhaka is witnessing usual traffic this morning despite the blockade. Commuters were seen going to their respective destinations in a rush while activities at government and private offices were going on as usual. 24-hour blockade: 428 RAB patrol teams deployed Many students with guardians are going to their respective schools for their final exams. A bus of Turag Paribahan was set on fire by miscreants at Dholaipar in Shyampur area of Dhaka at 5:30 am. A total of 428 patrol teams of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order during the ongoing 24-hour rail, road and waterways blockade called by BNP. BNP to enforce blockade Wednesday, hartal Thursday BNP called for a daylong blockade today and a daylong hartal on Thursday to protest the schedule for the next national election announced by the Election Commission (EC). Party's Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi came up with the announcement at a virtual press briefing on Monday. Rizvi said the programmes are also meant to mount pressure on the government to quit, hold the next election under a non-party neutral government, and release BNP leaders and activists, including its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. 230 BGB platoons deployed on day 2 of blockade
Dhaka ranked sixth on the list of cities worldwide with the worst air quality for the second consecutive day today. The air in Dhaka city was classified as 'unhealthy' with an AQI score of 182 at 08:52 am. Pakistan's Lahore, Vietnam’s Hanoi and Pakistan’s Karachi occupied the first, second and third spots on the list, with AQI scores of 414, 219, and 196, respectively. Dhaka's air quality 'moderate' Friday morning An AQI between 151 and 200 is considered 'unhealthy', while 201–300 is 'very unhealthy', and 301+ is 'hazardous', posing severe health risks to residents. The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is and what associated health effects might be a concern for them. Dhaka’s air quality ‘unhealthy’, 5th worst in the world this morning The AQI in Bangladesh is based on five pollutants: particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2, and ozone. Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution issues. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year, mainly due to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections. Air quality 'moderate' this morning
A total of 428 patrol teams of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order situation during the ongoing 24-hour rail, road and waterways blockade called by BNP. Of them, 140 patrol teams of RAB were deployed in Dhaka city alone, said Imran Khan, assistant superintendent of police (ASP) at the media wing of RAB headquarter. The elite force is also overseeing the security of buses and goods-carrying vehicles on the long routes during the blockade. Day 2 of hartal: 425 RAB teams deployed across country Intelligence teams are also keeping vigil at bus stands, train stations and other important places to prevent violence and sabotage. RAB arrests 4, including Sramik Dal leader, from Dhaka's Jatrabari in sabotage case
A bus of Turag Paribahan was set on fire by miscreants at Dholaipar in Shyampur area of Dhaka early today, half an hour before the countrywide 24-hour rail, road and waterways blockade called by BNP. Ershad Hossain, duty officer of Fire Service and Civil Defence control room, said miscreants set fire to the bus at 5:30 am and fled. Bus catches fire in C'nawabganj On information, a firefighting unit rushed to the spot and extinguished the blaze. Another bus torched in Dhaka
Bangladesh is among the countries which will contest on December 1 to become council members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Bangladesh will contest from category C with the maximum numbers of candidates. The Assembly, at its thirty-third session, will elect 40 members of the council as provided for in Articles 16 and 17 of the IMO Convention. Bangladesh elected Vice President of IMO Assembly The Assembly began on November 27 and will continue till December 6. A new 40-member IMO Council for the 2024-2025 biennium will be elected. The election will take place on Friday, by in-person secret ballot. The newly elected Council will meet on December 7 (for the Council's 131st session) and will elect its chair and vice-chair. Candidates under category A: States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services are China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and the United States. Bangladesh’s flagship resolution on Natural Plant Fibres adopted unanimously at UN Candidates under category B are the states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. The counties are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. In category C are states not elected under (A) or (B) above and which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world. The countries are Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Türkiye and Vanuatu. IMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. IMO's work supports the UN SDGs. Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem has been unanimously elected with 150 votes as the first vice president of the 33rd Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London. This is the first time Bangladesh and its PR has ever been voted to one of the highest positions of the prestigious IMO General Assembly of 175 member states that meets biennially in London to adopt all regulatory, financial, legal, and technical co-operation decisions of the global maritime industry and government. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid bin Bandar al Saud was elected president on November 27, said the Bangladesh High Commission in London on Tuesday. The vice-chair is elected by the IMO Secretariat based on nominations and votes cast by permanent representatives of 175 present and voting member states of the IMO Assembly.
Brac Bank has received the highest number of awards – five in all – from Mastercard this year in recognition of its outstanding business and innovation in various card issuing and acquiring segments. According to the bank, it earned Excellence in Mastercard Credit Business (Domestic) 2022-23, Excellence in Mastercard Credit Business (International) 2022-23, Excellence in Mastercard Contactless (Issuing) 2022-23, Excellence in Mastercard Contactless (Acquiring) 2022-23 & Excellence in Mastercard POS Acquiring Business 2022-23 awards. Dr. Atiur Rahman, former governor of Bangladesh Bank and Professor Emeritus, University of Dhaka, handed over the awards to Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO of Brac Bank at the fifth edition of the ‘Mastercard Excellence Awards’ in Dhaka on November 25. Themed ‘Recognizing the Masters of Evolution’, the event reaffirmed Mastercard's commitment & dedication to fostering innovation in digital payments. This year’s award ceremony coincided with 32 years of Mastercard's operation in Bangladesh and the 10th anniversary of its Bangladesh Office. Helen LaFave, Charge d' affaires at the US Embassy in Dhaka; Md. Sharafat Ullah Khan, Director of the Payment Systems Department; Md. Motasem Billah, Director, Payment Systems Department; Md. Sarwar Hossain, Director, Foreign Exchange Policy Department, Bangladesh Bank; and Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager, Mastercard Bangladesh were present on the occasion. The event drew the participation of senior management from banks, fintech, merchants, and various industry leaders, making it a significant and memorable occasion. Commenting on the accolades, Brac Bank CEO Selim R F Hussain said: “This prestigious recognition from Mastercard for consecutive years shows our business strength in cards issuing & acquiring business across the industry and focus on innovation in new business arenas.” “Our unique and lucrative cards proposition and extensive acquiring presence win the trust and loyalty of the retail customers that help us consolidate our market share. We will continue to offer innovative services to meet the customers' evolving needs and keep up the business momentum. We are thankful to our valued customers for keeping trust in our products and allowing us to serve them,” he added.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) Bangladesh has been voted as "Market Leader" in Bangladesh for the 14th time and "Best Service" in Bangladesh for the 6th time in a row, in the Euromoney Cash Management Survey 2023. The bank has also been voted as the Asia Pacific ‘Market Leader’ and ‘Best Service’ in Non-Financial Institutions in this year’s Euromoney Cash Management Survey, as well as recognised in multiple categories across the region, according to a press release. With an average response base of around 30,000 corporate respondents, this is one of the most authoritative and comprehensive rankings available. Commenting on the country winners, Devesh Mathur, acting CEO of HSBC Bangladesh, said, “ Winning the Awards as the ‘Market Leader’ and the ‘Best Service’ bank in the country, voted by our customers, is a resounding endorsement of HSBC’s commitment to our customers and our ability in offering bespoke financial solutions.” “We are determined to maintain our leadership by enabling global opportunities for our clients with our robust international network.Our heartfelt gratitude to our customers, regulators, and industry stakeholders for their indispensable support,” he added. Gerard Haughey, managing director and head of wholesale Banking, HSBC Bangladesh said “This award is especially meaningful for us as it is direct recognition from our valued customers for our continued efforts to provide superior customer experience. I would like to extend my gratitude to all our clients who voted for us.” “These awards attest our leadership position and inspire us to fulfil our commitments to the clients for continuous improvement of digital products and solutions. We will continue to digitise at scale and help clients to build smarter business with a simpler and better informed customer-experience,” he said HSBC Bangladesh has a wide range of liquidity management products across payables, receivables, clearing, foreign currency, liquidity, liability and investments, the release said. This year the bank launched digital propositions like-Recurring & Bulk Direct Debit, Dynamic CSV solution etc. In addition, to support the digital banking requirements of the clients, HSBC Bangladesh has already launched smart digital propositions like: Omni Collect, Online Statutory Payment System, Cash Flow Forecasting Tool, Enhanced Virtual Account, Direct Debit, eVAT, eDuty etc, reads the press release.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed profound dismay and apprehension as the cabinet has given its approval in principle to the Draft Data Protection Act 2023 despite the announcement of schedule for the upcoming national election. TIB has underscored the paramount importance of this legislation and its far-reaching implications, highlighting that the process of soliciting input from the stakeholders during the law formulation has been going on for a long period. Also read: Aggressive politics goes against public interest, heightens risk of undemocratic forces: TIB The organisation in a press statement on Tuesday raised questions regarding the circumstances and motives underpinning the hasty passage of this significant law by the cabinet amid the ongoing election process. TIB has cast doubts on whether all aspects of passing such a crucial legislation have been meticulously scrutinised by the election-time government. TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said TIB submitted a number of recommendations to the relevant ministry, focusing on refining and clarifying the definition of personal data, ensuring judicial oversight for data protection, and establishing an independent supervisory body free from governmental influence. Also read: RMG workers' real incomes to grow around half the nominal hike in wages after adjusting for inflation, other factors: TIB “The responsible ministers assured us that the draft would reflect these inputs. However, we are denied the opportunity to ascertain the actual state in which the draft law has received its initial approval, or whether it adequately safeguards public interest or not," he said. He voiced concern over an excessive reliance on policy ordinances and orders, which could introduce uncertainties in implementing the law itself and potentially lead to undue interference from the executive wing. "It is legitimate to question the meticulousness of the decision to approve the draft, as it diverges from the practice of limiting activities of the election-time government and deferring policy decisions until the newly elected government takes charge. We anticipate that the present election-time government, despite the 'approval in principle' of the draft, will suspend further actions and that the post-election government will engage extensively with the relevant stakeholders to advance the formulation of an acceptable law," said the TIB Executive Director. Also read: TIB rejects Cabinet-nodded Cyber Security Act-2023
In order to protect public health, the Prime Minister has pledged to amend the Tobacco Control Law to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040. Taking this announcement of the Prime Minister into consideration, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is working to strengthen the Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products (Control) Act, 2005 (Amended in 2013). In this context, on Tuesday, the non-governmental development organization Development Organization of the Rural Poor (DORP) organized an orientation program for the civil society and marginalized communities in Kaliganj upazila of Gazipur under the TC Law project. Various aspects of the project were highlighted in the orientation program at Kaliganj Upazila Parishad conference room. In the brief scope of the program, the future action plan of the project was drafted in the upazila. In order to strengthen the existing tobacco control laws and make them compatible with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the draft proposed by the Ministry of Health includes the elimination of designated smoking areas in all public places and public transport for the protection of non-smoker, ban the promotion of tobacco products at the point of sale, ban the corporate social responsibility activities of tobacco companies, ban the import, manufacture, use and marketing of e-cigarettes or emerging heated tobacco products, ban loose selling of tobacco products and increased pictorial health warning size from 50% to 90%. Kaliganj Press Club President Md. Ayub Ali presided over the programme while Kaliganj Upazila NGO affairs representative Md Kamrul Islam was present as special guest. DORP Kaliganj Mothers’ Parliament Speaker Jannatun Begum was the chief guest in the orientation program. Abdus Salam Mia, Programs Manager, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Bangladesh while speaking at the event said, “Now is the time to declare war on tobacco. We all need to do our part to strengthen tobacco control law.” It is to be noted that in the event, members of civil society, media workers, members of DORP Mothers’ Parliament and the DORP youth forum participated in a spontaneous discussion on the strengthening of the Tobacco Control Law and urged the Ministry of Health to take necessary steps in this regard. DORP has been involved in various development programs since 1987 and is best known for introducing maternity allowance. In line with this, DORP is currently working on tobacco control law and increasing tobacco taxes and implementing various projects to achieve the government's sustainable development goals.