Despite Covid-19 and flood situations, Bangladesh continues stride to realizing SDGs
Speakers say in a webinar organized by PKSF
Bangladesh has managed to continue its journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and economic growth despite the setbacks posed by the Covid-19 and the flood situations. Speakers came up with this observation at a webinar organized by PKSF on 25 July 2020.
Hon’ble Planning Minister Mr M. A. Mannan, MP was the Chief Guest at the program presided over by PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad. Ms Zuena Aziz, Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister’s Office, and Dr Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division, Planning Commission also spoke on the occasion. PKSF Managing Director Mr Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah gave the welcome speech and Deputy Managing Director Dr Md Jashim Uddin delivered the introductory remarks.
Speakers in the virtual gathering discussed on the assessment of Bangladesh’s progress in SDG implementation as stated in the Sustainable Development Report-2020, prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and on the effects of Covid-19 and the ongoing flood situations on realizing the SDGs in Bangladesh.
Hon’ble Planning Minister Mr. M. A. Mannan said that the Covid-19 epidemic is posing some challenges to development initiatives and economic growth, but the government has in place appropriate plans of actions to address the situation. Referring to the political commitment of the government to implement the SDGs within the 2030 deadline, he expressed his hope that the development activities of the government would be further accelerated in the post-Covid period.
Ms Zuena Aziz, in her speech, said that the government is committed and sincere to protecting the lives and livelihoods of the poor and has thus significantly increased social protection expenditures in the budget for the current fiscal year. Noting that the SDG goals are embedded in the economic plans of the government, she hoped that Bangladesh would be able to achieve the SDGs within the stipulated time.
Planning Commission Member Dr Shamsul Alam said that Covid-19 contraction rate is declining in Bangladesh. He emphasized on the need for carrying on economic activities without relaxing the health safety rules to keep the ongoing progress and economic growth uninterrupted. He also highlighted the various steps taken by the government to implement the SDGs.
PKSF Chairman Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, in his speech, termed the government actions to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic as farsighted and time-befitting. Highlighting the importance of ensuring transparency along with proper planning, action and finance for any development activities, Dr. QK Ahmad said that in order to achieve sustainable development, emphasis should be given on quality education alongside with other Goals.
Mr. Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah, the Managing Director of PKSF, said that in the global reality of the Covid-19 epidemic, public-private partnership and cooperation must be strengthened to ensure the achievement of SDGs in Bangladesh.
On June 30, 2020, the Sustainable Development Report 2020 was published delineating progresses made by different countries in achieving the SDGs. Mr. Mahfuzul Islam Shamim, Deputy General Manager (SDGs), PKSF gave a presentation on the report at the webinar. The Sustainable Development Solutions Network published the report after reviewing data from various sources, including governments, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization, informed Mr. Shamim. According to the report, Bangladesh ranks 109 out of 166 countries in the world in the progress towards achieving the SDGs. Also, Bangladesh stands fifth among the South Asian countries and is ahead of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in this.
Dr. Md. Jasim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF gave the introductory speech in this virtual meeting. Mr. Mohsin Ali, Executive Director, WAVE Foundation; Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan, Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka; and Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, Member, Board of Directors, PKSF, discussed on the presentation. The webinar was attended by executive directors and senior executives of various PKSF Partner Organizations and journalists from electronic and print media.