Jan 17, 2021


Vaccine rollout in Bangladesh: Bangladesh making guidelines for private import of COVID vaccines, health staffers’ training starts

While the first consignment of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, produced by Serum Institute of India, will arrive in the country on January 25 or 26, the government is likely to allow private companies to import and distribute Covid vaccines. Moreover, the government has started providing training to the healthcare staffers from last week in an effort to ensure safe and efficient Covid-19 vaccine administration. A total of 7,344 vaccination teams would work to implement the vaccination programme. Each team will have two vaccine injectors and four volunteers. Training and orientation of the workers are underway and will be completed by January 27.

Bangladesh makes strong case for LDC graduation, economy growing braving pandemic

Bangladesh is set to meet the LDC graduation criteria for the consecutive second time and will be recommended for graduation during the upcoming triennial review of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations next month. The country has called on the international community for the continuation of support measures for an extended period to make the upcoming graduation smooth and sustainable. In addition, Bangladesh, unlike other countries, has started taking sector-wise measures for rapid recovery of the economy that had to sail through an extraordinary time never witnessed by the world because of the Covid pandemic.

Food stock adequate, farm loan distribution on the rise

Owing to a raft of government measures, the country has managed to secure adequate food grains stocked in government warehouses and the houses of farmers. According to the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), repeated floods with heavy rains have damaged Aman paddy in 35 districts, but considering the year-round production and demand, there is no danger of food shortage in the country. Besides, even if the country's demand is met by next June, there will be a surplus of at least 3 million tons of rice. In last one month, the relevant authorities surveyed 14 agricultural areas of the country and collected this information through data analysis. On the other hand, farm loan disbursement has maintained a steady rise as it grew by 15.74% during the July-October period of the current fiscal. This stands as a testament to take proactive steps to keep farm production unhurt.

HPM Sheikh Hasina’s special gesture: Homes, lands for 9,00,000 poor families

As many as 9,00, 000 poor families, who have no land and house, of the country are expected to be given homes as gift from the Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of Mujib Borsho. According to media reports, each of these downtrodden people and poor families would be provided with a tin-shed semi-concrete homes along with two decimals of land. As part of the initiatives, HPM Sheikh Hasina is expected to hand over 66,000 homes to 66,000 of the families this month. The rest of the remaining over 800000 would get their homes within this year in phases.

First underground metro rail: Physical work to begin in June

The physical work of the country's first underground metro rail is expected to begin in June, as the authorities have almost completed necessary preparatory work for this project. Feasibility study and all necessary surveys were done. Japan agreed to provide soft loan for the project while around 65% work for drawing detail design was also finished last month. Besides, bidding documents for hiring contractors are almost ready. The bidding process is expected to take three to four months. Once the rail line, formally known as Mass Rapid Transit Line-1 or MRT-1, is completed, it would be able to carry 8 lakh passengers daily. The rail line is expected to be done in 2026. The 31.24km MRT Line-1 will have two parts -- around 19.87km from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur with 16.4km underground lines and around 11.36km elevated lines from Notun Bazar to Purbachal.

Social safety net allowances going digital

The government will distribute 75% of the social safety net allowances with the help of a number of digital financial service providers of Bangladesh Post Office. HPM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the disbursement of the allowances last week, while under the government to person (G-to-P) method, the government has already disbursed the funds among 1.237 million beneficiaries in 77 Upazilas under 21 districts through agent banking. In order to pay out the allowances, the government carried out demos in eight unions under eight divisions towards the end of last year. Based on the demos, the government has decided to give out 75% of the allowances in 40 districts. The beneficiaries will not have to spend any additional money to cash out the funds from the government.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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