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Dhaka Tribune

Canadian minister: Bangladesh made impressive progress

'We are committed to tackling challenges together,' says Karina Gould

Update : 14 Aug 2021, 01:07 AM

Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould has said she is impressed by the resilience and the remarkable progress taking place in Bangladesh. 

"Canada has been a friend and development partner to Bangladesh for nearly 50 years," she said, adding that they are committed to continuing to tackle the challenges together, including to support the needs of refugees and people living in extreme poverty, reports UNB.

The minister said it was important for her, as Minister of International Development, to undertake this virtual visit at this particularly difficult moment marked by challenges ranging from public health, to the economy, climate change, and the continued Rohingya crisis.

On Thursday, Karina Gould ended a "successful" three-day virtual visit to Bangladesh. 

All events and meetings were hosted on digital platforms in order to minimize health risks.    

“This was my first visit to Bangladesh and, although it was virtual, it allowed me to hear first-hand people’s stories and the challenges they face," said the Canadian Minister. 

Minister Gould announced contributions to two important projects in Bangladesh. 

The first will see Canada join Brac’s Strategic Partnership Arrangement for the next five years (2021-2026), with a contribution of $45 million.

The second provides $2 million in additional Canadian funding to Unicef for the "Strengthening Quality Education in Cox’s Bazar" initiative, to support preparations for the reopening of schools and learning centres. 

During the visit, the Minister met partners from civil society, NGOs and international organizations to discuss their work in Bangladesh, and Canada’s continued support for Rohingya refugees, impacted host communities, and Covid-19 response. 

Gould had a meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen when she extended her congratulations on Bangladesh’s anticipated graduation from the Least Developed Countries group, and expressed Canada’s appreciation for Bangladesh's inclusion of the most vulnerable Rohingya for the Covax vaccination campaign. 

She apprised the Foreign Minister of Canada’s "Together for Learning" campaign and its objective of making education available for all refugees, forcibly displaced and host community children and youth. 

The two ministers spoke about their shared interests in holding accountable those responsible for acts perpetrated against the Rohingya. 

They also shared their priorities related to the pandemic response and climate change.   

Her visit concluded with a live event held in Mohakhali’s Bhashantek Slum where Canada is supporting critical Covid-19 prevention activities and skills training for urban poor. 

It was an opportunity to speak with young women and healthcare workers to learn about the challenges they face, and hear their ideas on how to reduce the impacts of Covid-19 on their communities.


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