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Dhaka Tribune

Dutch NGOs reaffirm interests in Bangladesh

  • Appreciates Bangladesh as an ‘open and liberal society’ and a ‘living lab’
  • Terms the Dutch NGOs as friends of Bangladesh people
Update : 20 Jan 2024, 11:41 PM

The Bangladesh Embassy in The Hague gathered 60 representatives from over 40 Dutch NGOs at the third Conclave of Dutch NGOs/Foundations in Bangladesh who are actively engaged in Bangladesh in areas like children, women and girls, climate adaptation, health, education, water and sanitation, agriculture and mental health.

Moderated by the Bangladesh Ambassador, M Riaz Hamidullah, the Conclave was addressed by Director-General (International Cooperation), Ambassador Pascalle Grotenhuis, and Ambassador Wouter Jurgens, Director (Asia & Oceania), in the Dutch Foreign Ministry.

Ambassador Hamidullah elaborated how the two deltaic people connect in respect of innovation, resilience, and entrepreneurship in spite of differences in capacity and knowledge, said the Embassy.

Calling the Dutch NGOs as Friends of Bangladesh people, he also elaborated the areas and ideas as to how the Dutch NGOs could engage further in Bangladesh towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In her keynote, Ambassador Pascalle lauded Bangladesh's attainments over decades and shared her reflections on a socially-economically inclusive society towards protection of vulnerable populations and fulfilling livelihood access worldwide.

Three panels focused on cross-cutting themes of inclusion, climate action, and livelihood. As many as ten Dutch experts and development practitioners from leading Dutch Government entities, Universities and NGOs reflected on the key issues impacting grassroots, women and children, youth; the future challenges facing Bangladesh economy and changing societal attitudes as also scope for testing transformative choices; discussed potential solutions; and ways to introduce technology-driven solutions to generate livelihood options for climate-vulnerable population.

The Netherlands International Cooperation Collection (NICC) highlighted a timeline of the Dutch NGOs/development organizations’ over five decades’ engagements in diverse areas in Bangladesh.

The Dutch NGOs and others joining the meet appreciated Bangladesh as an “open and liberal society” and a “living lab” contributing to many sustainable solutions, social cohesion, and climate resilience, even beyond Bangladesh.

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