Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the international community to come up with specific effective steps to force Myanmar to take back their over one million forcibly displaced nationals living in Bangladesh as per the agreements signed between the two countries.
“Bangladesh and Myanmar have inked bilateral agreements for the safe and permanent repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. To continue the pressure on Myanmar for implementing the agreements, I urge the international community to take specific effective steps,” she said.
The PM said this while inaugurating the Regional Hub of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Dhaka at Radisson Hotel. This IsDB Regional Hub will cover 19 countries like Singapore, Australia, Thailand and India.
She said Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) had given an instruction to stand beside the oppressed people and the IsDB could not remain silent when the Rohingyas were facing ethnic cleansing. “So, to ensure the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas, I request the IsDB to firmly stand beside them."
Bangladesh is proactively responding to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis by keeping its border open and accepting the large influx of forcibly displaced Rohingyas despite having multifarious negative impacts on the local community and the country's ecosystem and resources, the PM said. “We're giving shelter and food to the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds.”
Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh now wanted them to go back to their own land.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, IsDB President Bandar MH Hajjar and Economic Relations Division Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam also spoke on the occasion.
Though Bangladesh is acclaimed internationally for good disaster management, it is still one of the most vulnerable countries that suffers and will continue to suffer for climate change, the PM said.
A good number of activities under the “Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan” are underway for mitigating the effects of climate change, she said. “We've set up 'Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund' with our own resources.”
Hasina said “Country Invest Plan (2016-2021)” had been prepared.
“Some USD 11.7 billion will be required during the tenure of the investment plan; of which USD 4.7 billion has been invested from internal and external sources. It means there's an overall investment deficit of USD 7 billion. We need your extended financial support in this regard.”
Bangladesh has been striving to ensure socio-economic development in a sustainable manner, the PM said. “We're working towards elevating our status to an upper middle-income country shortly. We've also set our next target of becoming a happy and prosperous country by 2041.”
She thanked the IsDB for opening the Dhaka Regional Hub as part of its recent decentralisation drive of operations from headquarters to the client countries.
“This will definitely help IDB, one of the trusted development partners of Bangladesh, speed up its operational activities further and improve the quality and efficiency of its development interventions such as projects management, implementation and monitoring. This will also help IDB to be more intimate and closer to client countries in understanding the development needs and challenges as well as development priorities,” Hasina added.