Category Archives: Bangladesh

Child marriage in Bangladesh: Empowering young girls to make informed choices

The Family Planning Association of Bangladesh is helping young girls in rural areas to make informed choices about their future. FPAB works in madrasah schools across the country and provides counseling, support and information to adolescent girls and their families about the perils of child marriage and early pregnancy.

“I am a girl with a choice,” says Hosna, 14, who lives in Bangladesh. Her father was planning for her to get married, but with help from a UK aid funded partner, IPPF, she was able to access services, information and support to make an informed decision about her future.

The Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB), an IPPF Member Association, collaborates with community partners and provides services to support girls and end child marriage. Continue reading

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the antipoverty group that helped pull Bangladesh out of the ashes

Is Bigger Better? Using market incentives, Fazle Hasan Abed’s antipoverty group helped pull Bangladesh out of the ashes. Next up: Africa.

David Armstrong
2 June 2008
Forbes Asia
Copyright 2008 Forbes Inc.

Using market incentives, Fazle Hasan Abed built the largest antipoverty group in the world and helped pull Bangladesh out of the ashes. Now he wants to take on Africa.

From the large glass window of his modern, well-lit and spacious offices 19 floors above Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fazle Hasan Abed, a former executive for Shell Oil, can keep tabs on nearby Korail, a dense slum of 60,000 people living in single-story mud, aluminum and bamboo shacks, some built on thin stilts over the brackish water of an urban lake. Abed, 72, has more than a little interest in the slum. The
organization he founded in 1972, BRAC, the largest antipoverty group in the world, with 110,000 paid employees and a $482 million annual budget, has its hands everywhere in Korail. Continue reading

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15 lakh children in Bangladesh work in hazardous jobs

Mamunur Rashid

At least 15lakh children are engaged in hazardous occupations in the country and the number is rising day by day due to the hike in food price. Moreover, most of them work with little or no pay but for three meager meals.

According to reports, there are 218 million child laborers between the age of five and 17 in the world. Of them, 126 million are performing dangerous tasks or working in hazardous conditions.

In Bangladesh, there are 79 lakh working children of whom 64 lakh are in rural and 15 lakh in urban areas. Of them 15 lakh are engaged in hazardous jobs. Continue reading

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Agricultural corporations boast huge profits in midst of food crisis

By Naomi Spencer

As inflation and shortages expose billions to hunger worldwide, agricultural giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Company revealed a 42 percent leap in quarterly profits. The announcement follows similarly skyrocketing earnings reports from half a dozen other agribusinesses and suppliers, as well as from major oil companies BP, Shell, and Exxon.

For the third fiscal quarter ending March 31, ADM reported $517 million in profit. In an April 29 conference call, executives attributed record earnings throughout all of the company’s operations to an enormous increase in speculative activity in commodities markets.

“Volatility in commodity markets presented unprecedented opportunities,” ADM chief executive Patricia Woertz told investor analysts in on the call. “Once again, our team leveraged our financial flexibility and global asset base to capture those opportunities to deliver shareholder value.”

Commodities markets have been flooded with investors from out of the credit and housing markets looking for more sound sources of profit. As a result, the grain, metals and oil markets have been subject to rampant turnover of stocks and huge fluctuations in the valuation of the most basic goods. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Bangladesh, capitalism, corruption, Food Security, Globalization, Inequality, multinationals, Poverty, procurement, World

Establishment of institute of disaster management – Bangladesh

A. K. M. Abdul Ahad Biswas, Ph.D

Living with risk and to develop disaster risk reduction initiatives, priority emphasis must be given to education as an essential part of disaster reduction and management strategies. The various dimensions of disaster risk management within a community can be addressed and continuously reinforced, passed between generations, through formal educational programs and professional training. People’s understanding and the exercise of their professional skills are essential components of disaster management and risk reduction strategy. An investment in human resources and increasing individual capabilities across generations are likely to have more lasting value than any specific investments made in technical measures to reduce and manage disaster risks.

Due to over exploitation and indiscriminant use of nature, it has been becoming more and more ferocious causing massive destruction. We have such terrible experiences on 15 November, 2007, in 1991 as well as in 1971. Again we are in great challenges of green house effects of inundating total costal belt accounting 580 km length sea beach which is one third of our country and 10,090 sq km of in-country water area (Ref: Map Asia).

Why need establishing Institute of Disaster Management? Continue reading

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In pursuit of a better Dhaka

“Dhaka’s population has grown from 7 million in 1991 to 11 million today. Clearly the city is not prepared for this, compelling many people to live in the open, covered only by bamboo, sacking, polythene or cardboard. Such unprecedented urban growth is placing a strain on municipal management and, as ever, the burden falls heaviest on the poor. Local governments especially are proving ill equipped to cope with the additional demands for land, housing, food, services and infrastructure, and have difficulty with the environmental and social costs of rapid urbanization.It is now accepted by most international agencies and professionals that urbanization is inevitable, and a precondition to economic and social development. It is now acknowledged that for all their problems, urban areas are the primary engines of economic growth, as well as social and technical innovation. The evidence shows that cities generate a disproportionately higher ratio of central government revenues and economic activity relative to their population levels. The challenge is therefore to evolve appropriate and sustainable ways of managing the urbanization process, rather than seeking to prevent it.”

Full story: http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=21423

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Managing urban growth in South Asia

by Shreekant Gupta

The year 2008 marks a watershed in human history when, for the first time, more than half of humanity of about 3.3 billion people will come to live in towns and cities. This fact is particularly salient for South Asia, home to over 1.6 billion people or a quarter of humanity, of which a third live in urban areas. As the world becomes increasingly urban, the centre of gravity of this process is moving to South Asia which will account for five of the world’s 10 biggest cities within seven years time, namely, Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi, Kolkata and Mumbai.  By the same year, 2015, a total of about 700 million South Asians will live in towns and cities, a colossal number by any yardstick. 

At the same time, South Asia is witnessing rapid economic growth and transformation, and its towns and cities are at the heart of this process. Growth is taking place in dynamic sectors such as manufacturing, information technology, high-end service industries, trade, retail, and banking, insurance and finance, all of which are urban-centric. By the year 2011, the urban share in India’s national income is expected to go up to 65 percent even though only slightly more than 30 percent of the population will be urban by then. In Pakistan and Bangladesh, the hypertrophic cities of Karachi and Dhaka respectively dominate the economy. The mega-city of Karachi, for instance, not only accounts for about a tenth of the total population of the country’s 165million people but it also generates 60 to 70 percent of national revenue and over 40 percent of the value added in manufacturing. 

While the Indian success story is well known (it is at present the second fastest growing economy in the world), that of Pakistan is less well so. Despite the political turbulence, its economy too has been doing quite well. On 24 January 2008, The Economist newspaper spoke highly of the latter’s economic growth (ranging at over 7 percent annually) and said it had the best performing stock-market in Asia: Pakistani companies had high dividends on average – 4 percent – and a low price/earnings valuation – under 15 times.  Sri Lanka too had (and still has) the potential to become an Asian Tiger, if only the ruinous civil war would stop.  Continue reading

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Filed under Bangladesh, Growth, India, Pakistan, South Asia, Urban