Cancellation or postponement of orders have put the livelihoods of close to a million workers in Bangladesh in jeopardy, says Shahriar Alam
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has suggested that the UK may take the initiative of creating a Covid-19 fund which can be used to bail out the UK brands/retailers so that they can continue with their imports from Bangladesh.
On the other hand, he said, the fund can also be used to help the workers to sustain their families.
The state minister discussed the issue during a telephone conversation with Lord Tariq Ahmad, UK’s minister (state minister) for South Asia and Commonwealth in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on Monday, reports UNB.
Lord Ahmad agreed that action needed to be taken in this regard.
During the discussion, State Minister Shahriar raised the issue of confirmed orders of readymade garment exports from Bangladesh to the UK being cancelled by the UK brands and retailers.
He highlighted that orders amounting to close to 300 million dollars have been cancelled or postponed by UK buyers, putting the livelihoods of close to a million workers in Bangladesh in jeopardy.
During the meeting, the two ministers discussed the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the way forward.
The British Minister appreciated the steps taken by the Bangladesh government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
He and Shahriar agreed to work together in the World Health Organization (WHO) to find a solution of the global Covid-19 crisis.
They also discussed how the Commonwealth can play an important role globally in the post Covid-19 world.
The two ministers also discussed the issue of the lingering Rohingya crisis.
Lord Ahmad appreciated the humanitarian gesture by Prime Minister Hasina in providing shelter to over 1.1 million Rohingyas who have been persecuted in Myanmar by their own state machinery.
He highlighted that as the penholder on this issue in the UN Security Council, the UK has remained engaged on ensuring that the accountability for the atrocities committed against Rohingyas is established, and the perpetrators are brought to justice.
In this regard, he informed about the UN Security Council meeting held last week.
The UK also reiterated its commitment to the decision of the International Court of Justice regarding genocide and the crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.
The two ministers agreed to continue their fruitful dialogue in near future.