Friday, 19 August, 2022
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Humanitarian Crisis Caused by War

PM urges global solidarity

Offers land for setting up D-8 economic zone

PM urges global solidarity
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurates the 20th D-8 Council of Ministers at a city hotel on Wednesday, commemorating the 25th anniversary of its establishment. —PID PHOTO

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called for greater multilateral cooperation and global solidarity to bravely deal with the “looming humanitarian crisis caused by Russia-Ukraine war and subsequent sanctions and counter-sanctions.”

“As the world is passing through a difficult time due to Covid-19 pandemic, conflicts, food and energy crisis, climate change and natural disasters, the need for strengthened multilateral cooperation and global solidarity deserves more attention than ever,” she said, reports UNB.

The prime minister said this while inaugurating the 20th session of D-8 Council of Ministers at Hotel Inter Continental in Dhaka. She joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.

D-8, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development cooperation among Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. It was officially launched in Istanbul in1997.

PM Hasina said that a humanitarian crisis is looming due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and, the subsequent sanctions and counter-sanctions that have disrupted the production and supply of food, fertiliser, energy and power and other commodities.

“We should all come forward to bravely address this looming humanitarian crisis,” she said.

She said that while the world was reeling from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has pushed the world to a fresh danger.

She mentioned that countries like Bangladesh have been bearing the brunt of the impacts of the war most. “Prices of the essentials have gone beyond the purchasing capacities of the most of people,” she said.

The premier said that the government in Bangladesh has taken comprehensive measures to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus pandemic on the economy and revive it to desired growth trajectory.

So far, she said, the government has announced 28 stimulus packages equivalent to USD 23 billion which is 6.3 per cent of the country’s GDP.

She mentioned that a total of 67.4 million people and 118,000 business entities have been benefited from these packages.

“Bangladesh is one of the very few countries which have successfully vaccinated its targeted population against COVID-19,” she told the conference.

She said that Bangladesh has been ranked fifth out of 121 countries and the first among the South Asian counties in COVID-19 recovery index.

Meanwhile, the prime minister proposed establishment of a D-8 Economic Zone in Bangladesh for investment by the member countries aimed at accelerating their collective economic growth.

The offer came in five-point proposals she made in her speech at the of the 20th D-8 Council of Ministers meeting at Dhaka’s Hotel Inter Continental, joining it through video conferencing from her official residence Ganabhaban.

The prime minister said Bangladesh is ready to provide space at its Special Economic Zones for investment of the member states.

“If it begins the process now, within the next decade, it will have a robust D-8 Economic Zone,” she said.

D-8, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development cooperation among Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkiye.

Established in 1997, the objectives of the forum are to improve member states’ position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at international level and improve standards of living.

PM Hasina said time has come for the 25-year-old forum to expand its focus also on implementation of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), increased trade, ICT, diversification of agriculture for attaining food security and finding sources of alternative energy.