Bangabandhu, his family symbol of freedom: WB CEO

World Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kristalina Georgieva described Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family as the symbol of freedom and struggle for the entire world as she met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday, reports BSS.

“Your family is a symbol of freedom and struggle for the entire word,” she was quoted as telling the Prime Minister during the meeting on the sidelines of the “Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation”.

The WB chief executive highly praised the role of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the 1971 Liberation War, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told journalists after the meeting. Georgieva said that she was a student during the Liberation War of 1971 when “Bangladesh achieved independence under the charismatic leadership of Bangabandhu.”

She also praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as Bangladesh witnessed an all-round development, particularly in women empowerment and education, under her dynamic and visionary leadership. Bangladeshi girls are doing better than boys in education, she observed.

She said the Word Bank would continue its maximum support to Bangladesh through IDA for further development of the country.

Georgieva also gave assurances of continued support to Bangladesh’s efforts in facing the adverse impact of climate change. She said the World Bank wants to save the people from the adverse impacts of climate change.

The WB chief executive stressed the need for using waterways to develop regional connectivity for promoting trade and business. She said Myanmar should initiate the return of the Rohingyas to their homeland, as they have been forcibly displaced from the Rakhine state.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had rebuilt the war-ravaged country immediately after the Liberation War of 1971 which she described as the “gigantic task.”

But all the development works were halted after the assassination of Bangabandhu on the fateful night of August 15 in 1975.

Highlighting the massive development works carried out by her government, Sheikh Hasina said the country is now witnessing huge progress, particularly in women empowerment, poverty reduction, education, agriculture and power and energy sector.

The premier said her government’s target is to fulfill five basic needs of the people -food, clothing, housing, health and education.

She said the power generation, which was 3200 megawatt during the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat government, now stands at 22,000 megawatt due to the massive work to this end after the Awami League assumed power in 2009.

The premier gave credit to research works for gaining huge development in the agriculture sector. She said her government brought down the poverty rate to 21 percent from 42 percent by taking pragmatic measures.

Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen, PM’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Principal Coordinator on SDGs Affairs at the PMO Abul Kalam Azad were present during the meeting.