Speakers at a webinar on Monday underscored the need for policy implementation to break the barriers of poverty.
The suggestion came from a virtual programme titled ‘Breaking the barriers of poverty: New priorities in poverty reduction in the backdrop of COVID-19’ organised by BRAC marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
“Bangladesh has a very good policy, what is required is effective implementation on the ground and utilisation of resources. More opportunities have to be created in the economy, and vulnerable people can use social safety nets to build resilience against disasters,” said Mercy Miyang Tembon, Country Director of The World Bank (WB) for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Development Director of Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Bangladesh Judith Herbertson, while complementing Bangladeshi peoples’ resilience, mentioned that more focus needs to be on the right targeting social safety net programmes.
She emphasised innovation and the government’s various development planning during COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh’s economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s dream of eradicating poverty has been disrupted by the outbreak.
South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) said the country’s poverty rate may rise to 40.9 percent due to COVID-19. Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) said nearly 36 million people have lost jobs between March 26 and May 30 during the general holidays.
Around 61 million people are currently working in the country’s job market. Nearly 59.5 million people moved into different class structures during this period, of which 25.5 million people became extremely poor, it said.
According to the latest survey of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Bangladesh will have 16.4 million new poor in 2020 as the income of the working-class in urban and rural areas has fallen sharply. About 13 percent of people have become unemployed due to the pandemic.
Also read: COVID-19 shatters Bangladesh’s dream of eradicating poverty
In September, a new UNICEF and Save the Children analysis showed that the number of children living in multidimensional poverty has soared to approximately 1.2 billion due to the pandemic.
Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, Chairperson of BRAC, said, “We need to bring in social justice and tolerance as an aspect of poverty reduction. We have to look beyond good policies and understand policy understanding gaps and our limitations.”
The webinar’s main objective was to call attention to the initiatives that the government and development partners are taking to attain SDG-1 (No poverty), especially now as the economic recovery efforts of COVID-19 are underway.
Syed M Hashemi, Former Senior Advisor of WB, and Shameran Abed, Senior Director of Microfinance and Ultra-Poor Graduation, BRAC and BRAC International also took part in the webinar.
Source: United News of Bangladesh