State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has suggested that the UK 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.
Alam said, the fund can also be used to help workers sustain their families.
The state minister discussed the issue during a telephone conversation with Lord Tariq Ahmad, UK Minister (State Minister) for South Asia and Commonwealth at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Monday.
Lord Ahmad agreed that action needs to be taken in this regard.
During the discussion, Alam raised the issue of confirmed orders of RMG exports from Bangladesh being cancelled by UK brands and retailers.
He highlighted that orders amounting to around 300 million dollars have been cancelled or postponed by UK buyers, putting the livelihoods of a million workers in Bangladesh in jeopardy.
During the meeting, the two ministers discussed the current situation of the pandemic, and the way forward.
The UK minister appreciated the steps taken by the Government of Bangladesh led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in containing the spread of coronavirus. Lord Ahmad and State Minister Shahriar Alam agreed to work together to find a solution for the global crisis.
The ministers 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 Rohingya crisis.
Lord Ahmad appreciated the humanitarian gesture by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in providing shelter to the 1.1 million Rohingyas who have been persecuted in their own country by their own state machinery.
The UK minister 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 that 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.