Three global organisations—the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)—assured of continuing its long-standing collaboration with Bangladesh.
The heads of the three Rome-based agencies of the United Nations expressed the willingness in three separate meetings with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday.
All the three meetings were held in Rome, the finance ministry said in a statement yesterday.
The leaders of the agencies appreciated the initiatives taken by the government to fight against poverty and hunger, according to the statement.
They also highly appreciated the unprecedented move of Bangladesh by extending shelter to the forcibly displaced Rohingya people.
David Beasley, executive director of the WFP, recalled his recent visit to Bangladesh and lamented the inhuman events the displaced Myanmar nationals had been going through.
He highlighted their commitments to support Bangladesh in its move towards eradicating poverty and hunger.
Recently, WFP has increased its assistance from $531 million to $969 million for the displaced Rohingyas.
José Graziano da Silva, director general of the FAO, praised Bangladesh for its remarkable progress and mentioned its $300 million support to Bangladesh through 316 national projects since the inception of its cooperation.
He informed that currently, FAO has been implementing a total 36 projects involving $98.3 million in the areas of food security, food safety and improving food system. The FAO chief also informed its immediate and longer-term support, along with the World Food Programme (WFP), for the forcibly Rohingyas.
Since its inception in 1978, IFAD has provided $18.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 464 million people, said Gilbert F Houngbo, president of the IFAD.
Moreover, IFAD has invested $717.2 million in loans and grants for 33 rural development projects, improving the livelihoods of 1.11 crore households, he added.
The finance minister said Bangladesh has made a commendable progress in achieving food security, despite frequent natural disasters and population growth, mostly contributed by 88 percent smallholders (small and marginal farmers) having just 0.05 to 2.49 acres of land.
Kamal is now at Rome in Italy to attend the 42nd Session of the governing council meeting of the IFAD that began yesterday.