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Bangladesh can eradicate extreme poverty by 2021, analysts say

Publication Date : 19-04-2014


Bangladesh has the capacity to eradicate extreme poverty by 2021, well before other countries in the subcontinent, analysts said Thursday.

To achieve this, Bangladesh needs to bring one million extreme poor families out of poverty each year until 2020, they said.

The observation came at an inter-ministerial meeting co-organised by the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division (RDCD) of the government and Economic Empowerment of the Poorest (EEP) at Cirdap auditorium in Dhaka.

EEP, a partnership programme between the Department for International Development (DFID) and the government, was adopted to eradicate extreme poverty to achieve the millennium development goals.

MA Quader Sarker, secretary to RDCD, chaired the discussion attended by representatives of 10 ministries, which are directly involved in the process of dealing with the poor.

Bangladesh has 25 million extreme poor people or nearly 6 million families, according to Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010. Extreme poverty is often chronic and lasts for years affecting generation after generation.

To bring down extreme poverty, all stakeholders, both public and private, need to take collective action that includes design and implementation of a national programme to enable 6 million families to be engaged with the market, speakers said.

They said prioritising the needs of the extreme poor and promoting institutional and policy reforms are vital to addressing extreme poverty.
Sarker said, “We'll do everything to ensure that the extreme poor have a fair chance at a free and dignified life.”

Asadul Islam, project director of EEP, said they have received endorsements from different sectors of the society, policymakers, government officials, and civil society.

Shazia Omar, head of advocacy of EEP, said Bangladesh has shown great strides in development in the sectors from microfinance to maternal mortality and family planning.

Geof Wood, professor in University of Bath in UK, also spoke on the occasion.


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