Rt Hon Desmond Swayne, the UK’s Minister for International Development has concluded his three day visit wishing for Bangladesh to be strong and successful as it leads its own development. During his stay, he visited UK funded projects in Dhaka and Kurigram to see how Britain’s support has been transforming lives of some of the poorest people in Bangladesh.
He met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali, and the Founder and Chairman of BRAC, Sir Fazle Hosan Abed.
Mr. Swayne said:
“Over the past few days I have seen first-hand how UK aid is making a difference to the lives of so many people across Bangladesh by providing access to health, clean water and sanitation facilities. This is a fundamental part of our development support, but there is also a more powerful story here.
“Our work with urban communities has reached over three million and counting. Its success means that many of the poorest communities are being empowered to manage their own development including through representation at local government meetings.
“I have also met young women who, following training, have secured jobs including in the garment industry. Empowering girls and women is at the heart of everything DFID does and, while Bangladesh has made significant progress, there is still more to be done.
“Young Bangladeshi girls need life skills, education, training and access to health care so that they can positively contribute to the country’s economy and their own future. This means tackling child marriage and early motherhood.’’
As we approach the United Nations General Assembly meeting next month Bangladesh deserves to have its voice heard. The new global goals present a vital opportunity for Bangladesh to lead its own development towards middle income status and ensure that no one is left behind.”
Announcing up to £3 million of humanitarian support he then said:
“I am pleased to be announcing today up to £3 million of funding to help those most affected by the recent floods in Bangladesh. UK support to the World Food Programme and other trusted partners will bring much needed relief to more than 100,000 people in the south east affected by cyclone Komen and monsoon flooding.
“This region of the country, one of the poorest and most disaster prone in Bangladesh, faces very significant development challenges. Komen and monsoon flooding have exacerbated the situation there for already vulnerable people. UK support will play a vital role in assisting communities affected by these crises.”