NGOs demand long-term plan to reduce poverty | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 12, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 12, 2009

NGOs demand long-term plan to reduce poverty

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Antipoverty Platform, an alliance of 16 non-governmental organisations (NGO) and local development campaigners, urged the government to take effective measures to reduce poverty and promptly implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
They also sought that the government include the extremely poor population in the social safety net and extend food and work for them.
“The government should undertake long term planning and effective measures to eliminate poverty from the country by initially including the extremely poor in the social safety net programme,” said Mohsin Ali, executive director of Wave Foundation.
He was speaking at a press conference to announce weeklong programmes to mark the International Poverty Alleviation Day on October 17, organised by the Antipoverty Platform at the National Press Club in Dhaka.
This platform is going to organise several programmes in 43 districts to create social awareness.
In his keynote paper, Ali sought necessary government steps to reduce poverty up to 50 percent before 2015, as part of achieving MDGs.
He stressed ensuring primary education for all, gender equity and women empowerment, reduced numbers of child death, maternity health improvements, a sustainable environment and enhanced international cooperation for development.
According to MDGs, Bangladesh will have to reduce its poverty rate to 29 percent by 2015. At present, around 40 percent of the population is poor, of which around 20 percent is extremely poor.
Abdul Awal, chairperson of SUPRO, a local campaigner for good governance, emphasised creating awareness and organising social movement to alleviate poverty, as rich countries often fail to keep their promises to help attain MDGs in the least developed countries.
“Global leaders have not fulfilled their commitment to provide official development assistance (ODA) to countries like Bangladesh. Furthermore, the assistance we have been receiving is insufficient to achieve MDGs,” he said.
“Developed countries should fulfill their pledges to help us attain MDGs within the stipulated time,” he added.
The rich are supposed to provide 0.7 percent of their GDP as ODA in the global bid for development.
But as per government data, net ODA inflow into Bangladesh has been on the decline since the 90s.
In fiscal 1990-91, Bangladesh received net ODA of $1,240 million, while it declined to $110 million in 2006. In fiscal 2007-08, net ODA stood at $96.1 million.
Ranjan Karmakar, executive director of Steps Towards Development (STD), and Asgor Ali Sabri, sector head of Action Aid, were also present.

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