New UK govt remains strong with aid policy
The new British coalition government would remain strong with its aid commitment to Bangladesh, visiting UK Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan MP announced yesterday.
“Our aid commitment to Bangladesh remains very strong and the new coalition government will remain with that,” he told reporters on his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the afternoon.
Duncan came on a two-day official visit to Bangladesh as the first minister of the UK's coalition government.
“Britain's relations with Bangladesh are very strong indeed, they run deep. There are great friends of Bangladesh in British parliament,” he said, adding, “Our one of the most important partners is Bangladesh.”
Duncan, who will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia on Wednesday, said they want to establish “deeper political links” with Bangladesh.
Replying to a question, he said at the moment the new government is reviewing everything, but “you can remain assured that our commitment to Bangladesh will remain strong.”
Duncan said Britain is the first country of the world to say that after 2013, 0.7 percent of UK's national income will be spent on international aid.
Currently UK's annual development assistance for Bangladesh is 150 million pounds, which is being spent on projects in governance, reduction of poverty and vulnerability to disasters.
Replying to another question, the British Minister said climate change, good governance and poverty alleviation are important elements of the British aid in Bangladesh.
Duncan is going to Manikganj today to visit UK-funded projects in education, health, private sector and urban development.
Acting British High Commissioner in Dhaka Duncan Norman and DFID Country Chief in Bangladesh Chris Austin were, among others, present at the airport.