Photo: EquityBD

Fifteen Bangladeshi civil society organizations urged the government to integrate climate adaptation measures in the national budget and to give thrust on self finance or local resource mobilization. In a press conference, the groups warned that it would be unwise to expect or depend on foreign aid in this regard.

Waiting for gas in Dhaka,
Bangladesh. (Photo: Georges
Gobet/Newscom/IMF website)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a loan of one billion dollars to Bangladesh after two years of negotiation. The Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD), an alliance of right-based civil society organizations, has continuously and consistently protested it. This is the first loan that the Asian country has taken in seven years.

Protest against the IMF in Dhaka

Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD), a Bangladeshi alliance of rights-based civil society organizations, urges the government in Dhaka to open public and parliamentary debates in case of receive foreign loans in the name of assistance and development. The statement issued by the coalition in its regard refers to a 987 million dollars loan approved last week by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In terms of gender equity Bangladesh is in far better position than its neighbour India, and above the South Asian average.

Atiur Rahman (Social Watch),
Manzoor Ahmed (Education Watch),
Rasheda K Choudhury (Peoples'
Forum on MDG), and Arifur Rahman
(Manusher Jonno).
(Photo: The Daily Star)

The centralization in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is responsible for the unsustainable development of that South Asian country, according to the Social Watch Report 2012. The historical absence of long-term planning and overpopulation are the main cause of environmental degradation and resource depletion, said Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, executive director of Coastal Association for Social Transformation (COAST Trust) while launching the study.

The report, based on 670 reports of 66 nations, said in its Bangladesh part that centralisation has accentuated geographical imbalance in income in the country.

Although it discharges a minimal quantity of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, few other countries are more severely affected by climate change. Government efforts to approach sustainability have been insufficient. Environmental issues such as overpopulation and deteriorating living conditions in the principal cities are not being addressed. Climate migrants are disrupting an already untenable economy, which makes the country one of the most vulnerable to food shortages and natural catastrophes.
Photo: EquityBD

Bangladeshi civil society organizations demanded participation in the management of the official climate change funds for their representatives and those of the affected communities, to enhance their transparency and accountability. The claim was made at a national consultation in Dhaka, moderated by Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD), an alliance of several institutions and renowned citizens.

National Committee press conference.
(Photo: EquityBD)

The Government of Bangladesh must take steps to ensure women’s equal rights to land and inheritance, urged civil society organizations. "Men and women have to fight together to establish women's right," said M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, member of Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD), an alliance of several Bangladeshi groups and individuals.

The Daily Star (Dhaka)
The New Nation

A budgetary plan to cut farm subsidies will frustrate farmers and the sector as a whole, as they still need special care for a few more years, warned this week Khondar Ibrahim Khaled, emeritus fellow of Unnayan Shamannay (national focal point of Social Watch).

Although it is one of the poorest countries in the world, Bangladesh has seen a steady increase in its economy and some success in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However inflation and climate change are becoming major challenges in the fight against poverty. While the country is a minuscule polluter, it is an enormous victim of global warming. Donor countries should take the additional costs of adaptation and mitigation into account during assessments of aid support.
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