insight

July 30, 2020

NEWSLETTER

Bangladesh lifts 19m out of poverty before corona: UN

Bangladesh was on track to reduce poverty by 2030 as the country successfully lifted about 19 million people out of multidimensional poverty between 2014 and 2019, according to a report by the United Nations. New figures show that before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, progress was being made in tackling multidimensional poverty, according to the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), a measure that looks beyond income to include access to safe water, education, electricity, food and six other indicators. Turning to South Asia, the report said three South Asian countries --Bangladesh, India and Nepal were among the 16 fastest countries to reduce their MPI value.

Climate Vulnerable Forum: Next conference to be held marking Mujib Borsho

The next conference of the Climate Vulnerable Forum will be held in 2021 commemorating "Mujib Borsho" (Mujib Year). According to media reports, Chair of the Global Centre on Adaptation and ex-UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said this on Wednesday when he phoned Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina. The former UN secretary-general highly appreciated the HPM's leadership in combating the novel coronavirus situation and Cyclone Amphan with courage. At the 25th Annual Conference of Parties (COP25), known as the UN Climate Change Conference, in Paris in December last year, HPM Sheikh Hasina accepted a proposal from Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine to take over the charge of the CVF chair from this year.

Forex reserves cross $37b

The country's foreign exchange reserves rose by $1 billion within a month to reach $37.11 billion for the first time this week despite a global economic recession amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The government has decided to use foreign exchange reserves for rapid implementation of productive projects to accelerate development work and recover from Covid-19-induced economic losses. Factors such as lower import payment, strong remittance inflow, foreign loan and aid have contributed to pushing up foreign currency reserves in the recent months while the reserves are sufficient to cover about 7 months’ import payment, according to media reports.

Dhaka hosts OIC youth summit, HPM for engaging youths with decision-making to combat Covid-19

HPM Sheikh Hasina called for engaging youths with decision-making, ideas and innovations to fight coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic to build a resilient and sustainable future for them. While inaugurating the two-day celebration of "Dhaka – OIC Youth Capital 2020" virtually last Tuesday, the Bangladesh premier also sought more global cooperation for the basic survival of humanity in view of the pandemic which so far claimed 652,604 lives across the globe till Monday afternoon (BST). According to media reports, HPM Sheikh Hasina said she is happy that organizers of the "Dhaka – OIC Youth Capital 2020" have decided to launch the "Bangabandhu Global Youth Leadership Award" to honour the true spirit of his everlasting idealism. OIC Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen among others also spoke on the occasion.

Exporters getting $353 million loan facility

In order to alleviate the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, another $353 million is being given from special funds to the owners of export-oriented industries including readymade garments. The owners of export-oriented industries, including garments, will get loans from the fund to pay the current month's wages and the service charge for the first three months of the loan is 2%. In the case of the current month, however, it will be 4.5% and in this case, the government will give 4.5% subsidy.

Covid-19: Recovery number surpasses that of active cases, more than 55% patients recovered

The number of people who have recovered from novel coronavirus has surpassed that of active Covid-19 cases in the country, shows DGHS data. According to DGHS, as many as 1,032,960 Covid-19 patients have so far recovered, including 2,668 in the 24 hours. Currently, 59,530 people are quarantined across the country – including 1,961 newly-quarantined individuals. Some 362,222 people have completed their quarantine course. The government has formed a monitoring team assigning 45 officials to oversee the services of the hospitals across the country.

Bangladesh extends shutdown of schools to Aug 31 amid pandemic

Bangladesh has extended the shutdown of schools and other educational institutions by another 25 days to Aug 31 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The government announced the closure of all schools and educational institutions in the country on Mar 17 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It later ordered the shutdown of offices, workplaces and public transport services under a nationwide lockdown which came into effect on Mar 26. Offices and public transport services later reopened on a limited scale at the end of the 66-day lockdown on May 31.

Bangladesh to provide free rice for 10m people in pandemic

The government has decided to give 10kg free rice to each poor family during the Eid-ul-Azha amid the coronavirus pandemic. Government aid will amount to 100,068 tonnes of rice for more than 10 million beneficiaries under a programme known as the Vulnerable Group Feeding. The flood-affected people and marginalised people hit by other natural disasters would be prioritised for this aid. According to media reports, a total of 87,792 tonnes of rice was allotted against 8,779,203 VGF card holders for distribution in 64 districts and 12,276 tonnes of rice for 1,227,666 card holders in 328 municipalities in three categories.

Bangladesh receives 10 locomotives from India

Bangladesh this week received 10 broad gauge locomotives from India under grant assistance from the Indian government, the latest instance of increased railway cooperation in connectivity front between the two neighbouring countries. The Indian government provided the locomotives under its grant assistance programme in line with the commitment by New Delhi during HPM Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in October in 2019 under Indian premier Narendra Modi’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy. On the other hand, India has for the first time sent cargo from Kolkata to Tripura and Assam using Bangladesh's Akhaura land port in Brahmanbaria, taking the ties in hew heights.

Bangladesh to fund construction of Buddhist monastery in Nepal

The cabinet has approved a draft of an agreement on the construction of a Buddhist monastery in Nepal funded by Bangladesh. "A plot was allocated after Bangladesh expressed its interest in building a monastery in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. The Lumbini Development Trust has given the greenlight to the project, including the designs, which will cost an estimated $6 million. The proposed agreement will be signed between the Lumbini Development Trust of Nepal and the Government of Bangladesh.

BANGLADESH AWAMI LEAGUE
23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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