July 12, 2020


Covid-19: Bangladesh’s early steps paying off, encouraging recovery rate

When Bangladesh announced to go for general holidays on March 24, the number of coronavirus cases was only 39 and there was no official call for the ‘community transmission’ of the virus. After nearly four months of the pandemic, it seems the intervention helped the country to slow down the spread of the virus that, according to media report, was needed to prepare the health facilities. On impact, the rate of recoveries from Covid-19 is rising while the death rate marked a steady decline. Moreover, the number of general beds dedicated to Covid-19 treatment in Dhaka city and countrywide are 6,075 and 14,775 respectively. There are 11,785 oxygen cylinders, 202 high-flow nasal cannula and 106 oxygen concentrators available across the country.

UNHCR hails Bangladesh’s efforts to curb coronavirus at Rohingya camps

The UN refugee agency UNHCR’s Representative Steven Corliss has hailed Bangladesh’s efforts to strangle the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Rohingya camps. Addressing a discussion, the envoy praised the government and international agencies for their role in limiting entry into, and exit from, the camps to control the outbreak. The government confirmed 52 coronavirus cases and five deaths from COVID-19 among over 1 million Rohingya refugees at the densely populated camps until Sunday. On the other hand, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, urged the international community not to forget about the efforts on safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya to their homeland Myanmar.

HPM Sheikh Hasina delivers on her pledges on women empowerment

Bangladesh has attained an envious success in women’s empowerment as they epitomise social awakening and self-reliance by ensuring their presence in almost all fields, including politics, administration and the media. With an increasing rate in women literacy, women are today showing signs of pathfinder -- from the grassroots to the centre -- thanks to the farsighted and dynamic leadership of Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Bangladesh has been ranked the top country among its South Asian neighbours by performing the best in bringing down gender gap. Bangladesh closed 72.6% of its overall gender gap and obtained 50th position out of 153 countries globally, the WEF said in its report.

Bangladesh to provide free rice for further 10 million people

The government has decided to give 10 kg free rice to each of 10 million poor families 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. 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. In addition, nearly 74 million people from more than 16 million families have received government relief assistance during the current coronavirus situation across the country.

Bangladesh’s economy managing pandemic challenges well: HSBC economist

As global growth recovers in the coming quarters, Bangladesh stands to benefit from its strong economic fundamentals and will likely continue to deliver steady growth rates, said an economist of HSBC. According to Frederic Neumann, co-head of the Asian Economics Research at the bank, strong growth in recent years was based on solid fundamentals, with stable inflation and a robust external payments position. The country's exports have also gained global market share in recent years and the continued rise in remittance has helped support local demand. The expert added that "Bangladesh's economy has so far managed the challenges brought on by the global coronavirus outbreak well and the government has delivered a robust response to support demand, supported by an accommodative central bank”.

Govt to help migrants stuck at home

The government has decided to provide food assistance to the migrant workers who returned home from different countries during coronavirus pandemic. Under a safety net programme of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, each of the returnees would be provided with 10 kg rice, 5 kg flour, 1 kg lentils, 1 kg salt and 1 litre of soybean oil. The returnee migrant workers would also be able to avail a loan of any amount upto $6000 at 4% interest rate during this time.

Remittance hits new record of $18 billion

The country's remittance inflow witnessed a record high reaching $18.20 billion in the last fiscal 2019-20 despite a global economic recession amid the Covid-19 crisis – a 10.85 percent increase from the preceding year. In June 2020, the remittance inflow stood at a record $1.83 billion for a single-month, exceeding the previous milestone of $1.74 billion in May last year. Besides, the country's foreign exchange reserves reached the high-ever $36.14 billion this week. According to media reports, timely initiatives by the government such as the 2% cash incentive scheme resulted in an increased awareness among expatriate workers to send their hard-earned money through legal channels, pushing up the remittance inflow.

Govt measures result in a significant drop in school dropout rate

With a target of achieving quality education and sustainable development goal (SDG) in education, the government has been able to reduce the dropout rate significantly in primary, secondary and higher secondary schools. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (BANBEIS), the dropout rate in primary was 17.9% in 2019, 18.6% in 2018, 18.85% in 2017, 19.2% in 2016, 20.4% in 2015 and 20.9% in 2015. But in 2009 the dropout rate was 45.1%. With the aim of creating skilled human resources, targets have been set for the overall improvement of education, reducing discrimination in education, achieving quality, excellence, and expansion of education.

Commonwealth leaders applaud Bangladesh’s digital services

In a virtual meeting, leaders of Commonwealth countries have appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s $11.50 billion financial and social safety-net support packages for the most vulnerable segments of the society including the RMG and daily workers and her ‘GovTech’ and ‘DevTech’ initiatives. Honourable Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of 30 Commonwealth member countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Belize, Bahamas, Uganda, Tanzania, Guyana, and the Gambia took part in the meeting. The Commonwealth Secretary-General acknowledged Bangladesh’s early warning system and disaster preparedness including quick evacuation of 2.5 million people from the coastal area during Cyclone Amphan.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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