Sep 19, 2021


Vaccine equity, Rohingya crisis, climate change on top of HPM Sheikh Hasina’s UNGA agenda

Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina is expected to focus on the issues relating to equity in vaccine sharing, sustainable recovery, climate change and Rohingya crisis at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The theme of this year’s UNGA is “Building resilience through hope-to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations.” The prime minister is expected to plant sapling on the UN headquarters premises, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Ahead of the COP26, the UNGA will discuss the climate change issue, which is very important for Bangladesh. Wrapping up her official visit to New York, the prime minister will visit Washington, DC where she will stay from September 25 to 30.

Bangladesh's schools, colleges reopen with strict COVID-19 protocols

On the back of continuous decline in Covid cases, schools and colleges in Bangladesh reopened last week after being closed for more than one and a half year.As part of its pledges to shore up the vaccination drive, the government has set a target to get as many as 100 million people in the country vaccinated by December. Moreover a total of two shipments arrived carrying around 5.3 million jabs, helping the government bolster the ongoing mass inoculation drive across the country. The government conducted the special campaign from August 7-12, under which around 3.4 million people received their first jabs.

WB: Social protection programs benefiting poorer households in Bangladesh

According to a recent report released by World Bank, social protection programs remain central to Bangladesh's sustainable development policy, progressively benefitting the country's poorer households. The report titled “Bangladesh Social Protection Public Expenditure Review” reflects on Bangladesh's continued investment towards social protection and how it can improve on its existing framework including planning, designing, programming, and delivery of the various social protection programs and projects. As introduced by HPM Sheikh Hasina, the coverage in rural areas is higher than the poverty rate, with programs reaching 36% of people, while 26% live in poverty.

‘Bangladesh can be another wonder’, says outgoing ambassador of the European Union

In reference to the government’s initiatives in dealing with the pandemic, Rensje Teerink, the outgoing ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Bangladesh, said that the country has managed to maintain a relatively low fatality rate despite the ravages of pandemic. In an interview with a news outlet, she also admitted the fact that this country is proudly celebrating 50 years as a nation and looking towards middle income status. Pointing to the buoyant economic growth of the country under the able leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina, she said “the future looks optimistic”. In June 2021, the EU and Germany transferred EUR 33 million to Bangladesh to strengthen key areas of its social security system and build resilience to Covid-19, with a particular focus on affected workers in export-oriented industries.

HPM outlines electricity-run transport system, significant progress on work of first nuke plant

Inaugurating five new power plants last week, HPM Sheikh Hasina has envisioned an electricity-run transport system – electric trains, buses and cars – to match the country's overall development activities. The latest inauguration has pushed up the country's on-grid power generation capacity to 22,000MW, while the demand hovers between 11,500MW and 13,000MW. Moreover, the country's dream to produce nuclear energy has come a step closer as the reactor pressure vessel installation for the first unit of the under-construction Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant started last week. The reactor pressure vessel installation work in the first reactor building will continue for the next 15 to 20 days. With this, the physical work on the first unit – that has 1,200 megawatts of power generation capacity – will be completed.

AL government introduces new low-cost fund for farmers

At the directives of HPM Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, a fresh refinance scheme has been rolled out by the central bank to provide low-cost loans to farmers with a view to supporting farm production amid the coronavirus pandemic. Farmers will get loans at a 4% interest rate, and banks will access the fund at a 1% interest. The tenure of loans is 18 months. Producers engaged in cultivating food and cash crops, vegetables, and tuber crops will get financing from the package. Besides, growers will receive loans to cultivate fruits and flowers, aquaculture, poultry and livestock. The lenders will have to ink a participation agreement with the central bank to access the fund and will have to disburse the loans through their own network.

Bangladesh, Australia ink first trade, investment agreement

Bangladesh and Australia have signed a Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (Tifa) agreement, the first of its kind between the two countries. The framework is expected to provide a platform for institutional economic interaction and open new opportunities for trade and investment between the two countries. Under the agreement, a joint working group will be formed with due representation from relevant sectors and sub-sectors. Australia has proposed hosting an inaugural meeting of the working group in early 2022. The agreement would address all relevant questions including retention of duty-free and quota-free treatment for Bangladesh after it graduates from being a least developed country, or LDC.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

Join us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on G+ Follow us on Twitter