Bangladesh has set an example of successfully tackling disasters through coordinated efforts by the government, development and private actors, donors and corporate bodies to overcome the impacts of Covid-19.
Speakers at a discussion programme made these observations at an event today on Thursday afternoon (28 October) to publish “Covid-19 yearbook 2020”. Development organisation BRAC organised the programme.
BRAC’s senior director KAM Morshed moderated the event, where Planning minister M A Mannan graced the event as the chief guest.
In his remarks as the chief guest, M A Mannan said, “If it (Covid-19) waves again in future, we will work together under the direction of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a combined approach.” He also hoped the government and non-government organisations will work in a partnership model to attain sustainable development of the country.
BRAC Health Nutrition and Population Programme (HNPP) director Morseda Chowdhury presented a summary of “Covid-19 yearbook 2020” at the programme. She said the challenges along with the learnings and experiences gathered in this great crisis faced by the nation in the present global health disaster have found their place in this book. BRAC hopes this documentation will help as a reference for both BRAC and other organisations in tackling similar crises in future.
BRAC Executive Director Asif Saleh in his welcome speech thanked partner agencies saying the existing relation of trust between the government and the private sector in combating Covid-19 is very promising. This partnership can play a major role in combating disasters in future.
Embassy of the United States ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller said “I am proud of the partnership between the embassy with the Bangladesh government, BRAC and other organisations who are fighting against this pandemic.”
Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Bruer said the way in which BRAC was able to respond to support the needs of the people of this country was truly exemplary.
Nazmul Haque Khan, Additional Secretary (Hospital Wing), Health Service Division, said coordinated effort is the only way to fight any disaster and this is what has happened with the Covid-19 prevention activities. He hoped to continue such endeavors in future.
Urging everyone to unite for action in Covid-19 prevention, Dr. Md. Ashfaqul Islam Babul, Director (Project-1) [Joint Secretary] of NGO Affairs Bureau under Prime Minister’s Office said service delivery is needed at the very doorstep of the margnialised people and this is why we need to bolster the existing partnership further.
Unilever Bangladesh Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zaved Akhtar, Grameenphone Chief Financial Officer Jens Becker, Senior Development Officer of Canadian High Commission Joe Landry and Development Director of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK government Judith Herbertson also spoke at the ceremony.
The speakers expressed honour and recognised the efforts and sacrifices of the frontliners who have risked their life and worked relentlessly to tackle the pandemic. They also pledged to continue acting as a united force against the pandemic.