Discussions about development spending and reducing Bangladesh's climate vulnerability are often dominated—understandably—by politicians and donors. These are the decision-makers who affect how funds are spent.
The project 'Bangladesh Priorities' set out to have a conversation on what is best for Bangladesh. In that spirit, I welcome the commentary from Nick Beresford of UNDP Bangladesh on September 29. His concerns merit a considered response.
Poor nutrition continues to impede Bangladesh's progress. The effects include maternal mortality, infant mortality, and stillbirths. Also, poor growth among small children results in stunting, which in turn has life-long consequences. Affecting about six million Bangladeshi children under the age of five, the condition decreases cognitive development, leads to worse health outcomes and school performance.
With increased liberalisation, there would be costs to domestic producers and markets that become exposed to foreign competition. Some workers in these industries may even lose jobs. The most affected areas of the Bangladeshi economy would be light manufacturing, utilities and construction, livestock and meat markets, and mining and extraction.
It turns out that switching five households from kerosene lamps to a single diesel-powered generator would be 12 times more cost-effective than solar power - each taka of spending would do an impressive 24 takas of good.