Bangladesh has been driving on the highway of development for the last 10 years, and by this time it has emerged as an economic role model to the globe. Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country has graduated from a least developed country (LDC) to a developing one, and now she is working very hard to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030 and to make the country developed by 2041.
Md Kamal Uddin Talukder, secretary of Rural Development and Cooperatives Division of Ministry of LGRD and Cooperatives, came up with the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at a programme titled ‘Sharing Experience of the Jibika Project’, jointly organised by Brac and Chevron Bangladesh at Long Beach Suites in the capital’s Gulshan area on Monday.
He said Bangladesh has achieved a tremendous growth over the past one decade, and it was possible because of its hard working people both in the urban areas and the rural parts.
The prime minister has recently expressed her strong commitment that the country’s current poverty rate of 21 per cent will be brought down below 18 per cent, equal to the current poverty rate in the USA, said Kamal.
“Through our work all over the country, we are trying to reduce poverty and improve the socio-economic conditions of the rural people through activities based on rural development cooperatives and through continuous research on rural development,” he said.
He urged all concerned, including private and government sectors, to work together with full commitment to achieve the country’s most coveted goals.
ASM Sofrul Islam, program coordinator of Jibika Project, said, “We are working in three selected sectors like health, education and economic development. Through three clinics sponsored by Chevron, 1 lakh people in greater Sylhet are being provided with affordable health services annually.”
Through Brac, over 1,000 scholarships are awarded every year among the underprivileged students while 1,010 community-based organisations and over 1,800 enterprises are supported in various ways.
In the programme, some entrepreneurs, who have been benefited by the Jibika Project, also shared their experiences.
Among many, Taslima Begum, an entrepreneur of the project, said, “I feel I am empowered as an entrepreneur. I manage the operations of the village development organisation and work as a livestock health worker for the community.”
Anna Minj, director of community empowerment of Brac, presided over the programme while Neil Menzies, president of Chevron Bangladesh, KAM Morshed, director of advocacy for social change, technology and partnership strengthening unit of Brac, and Md Adul Majid, registrar and director general of Department of Cooperatives, also spoke among others.
The Jibika Project aims to uplift the socio-economic conditions of 20,000 people living in the vicinity of Chevron-operated gas fields in the greater Sylhet region.