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Country to overcome poverty well before WB, IMF projection

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have projected that the world will mostly be free from poverty and hunger by the end of 21st century. But the Bangladesh government is committed to free the country of poverty by 2030. However, for that both the government, non-government and private sectors have to work concertedly.

The honourable minister of planning, AHM Mustafa Kamal, said these at a discussion titled ‘Eradicating extreme poverty: Development strategy and model’. BRAC organised the session at the BRAC Centre in the capital today on Sunday. The minister was speaking as the chief guest of the event.

At the discussion Asif Saleh, senior director, Strategy, Communication and Empowerment, BRAC and BRAC International, gave the welcome speech. Dr. Ahmed Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury, Adviser to BRAC Chairperson, presided over, while Tariq-Ul-Islam, secretary, Social Welfare Ministry, attended as the special guest.

Stressing the importance of increasing GDP growth, the minister said, ‘Poverty will reduce with the growth of GDP. Our government is undertaking many steps to enable the marginalised communities to grow different small and medium income generating activities. At the same time education is being integrated with work.’

‘In 2000 the country’s 48 per cent population was poor, ultra poor population was 34.6 per cent. Now the rates have come down to 23.06 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Different government and non-government efforts and remittances sent by the migrant workers are among the contributing factors here,’ he further said.

Md Monirul Islam, deputy chief, Planning Commission, presented the keynote paper on the Bangladesh government’s newly formulated National Social Security of Bangladesh.

Sayed Mesbah Uddin Hashemi, chairman, Economics and Social Sciences department of BRAC University, delivered a presentation titled ‘Building ladders for the poorest: The global promotion of graduation programmes within a social protection framework’.

Professor Hashemi stressed social security activities should now focus sustainable development instead of cash transfer to the poor. The model BRAC has developed around asset transfer can be a model in this regard. To take this model towards further success the experience of the grassroots must be taken into account, while the local communities must be integrated, he added.

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