Friday, January 18, 2019

Bangladesh PM Hasina urges for IFAD investment to build sustainable rural economy

  • Reazul Bashar from Rome,
    Published: 2018-02-13 22:49:41 BdST


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Bangladesh has made progress in all development indicators - from poverty alleviation, fish production to nutrition, and now would like to have more investment to facilitate a sustainable rural economy.

Speaking at the 41st sessions of the IFAD (International Fund for Agriculture Development) governing council in Italy's capital Rome on Tuesday, she sought the organisation's support as ensuring economic resilience, investment in the rural economy is a key factor.

"The development partners have to be little more generous in order to eliminate poverty and hunger. The world appears to me to be ready now for it," she said adding "I would like to urge you for investing in sustainable rural economies."

She said, due to policies friendly to fisheries, the total fish production reached up to 4.1million tonnes in fiscal 2016-17, which contributed to self-sufficiency in fish production.

"Our national fish, Hilsa has received geographical identification certificate. We are the fourth largest producer of sweet water fish in the world.

"We also have a food feeding programme for the poor and vulnerable population. In 2017, five million families received 30 kg rice for five months at a highly reduced price.

"We have also successfully tried to tackle the problem of nutrition. The undernourished portion of Bangladesh’s population declined from 33.2 percent in 1992 to 16.4 percent in 2016.

"Poverty has been reduced to about 22 percent now from about 41.5 percent during 2005-06. Various government initiatives have played a role in this improvement, she added.

Hasina said, "by way of telling the story of my country, I have tried to plead for – from fragility to long term resilience by investing in sustainable rural economies."

She also said Bangladesh was very lucky to have stable governance for almost a decade.

"The country formulated our strategy of socio-economic growth very carefully over a period of about four years and then tried to implement it in last nine years," she added.

IFAD is the international financial institution and a specialised agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas in developing countries.

The prime minister is expected to join a civic reception organised for her by expatriate Bangladeshis in Rome on Tuesday evening and return home on Friday.