Dhaka, Feb 02: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today hoped that the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) would play a positive role towards boosting its investment in Bangladesh for implementation of the 8th Five Year Plan, SDGs and facing the COVID-19 challenges.
The Finance Minister also urged the IFAD to provide soft-term loans to Bangladesh in various sectors including in food processing alongside facilitating loans from the GEF, GCF and other development partner funds.
Kamal made the call at a virtual meeting between the Bangladesh delegation and the IFAD delegation today.
The Finance Minister led the Bangladesh delegation while the newly appointed country director of IFAD Arnoud Hameleers led the IFAD delegation.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Fatima Yasmin and other high officials virtually joined the meeting, said a Finance Ministry release.
The release said that Kamal thanked the IFAD for extending their support in Bangladesh’s agriculture, rural economy, climate change and women’s empowerment.
The Finance Minister highlighted that Bangladesh has attained an unprecedented economic growth over the last one era under the dynamic and farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He said although Bangladesh was affected from the COVID-19 pandemic like other countries of the world, but the economy of the country was still in a good position due to the prudent leadership of the Premier.
Kamal also wished a success of the ensuing 45th governing council of IFAD.
In response, the new IFAD Country Director Arnoud Hameleers sought support of the government of Bangladesh for building a hunger free world by 2030.
He also assured that the support of IFAD would continue for ensuring sustainable development, food security, facing the challenges of climate change, boosting farm productivity and generating more employments in the rural areas.
ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin informed that the cumulative investment of IFAD to Bangladesh stood at $2.3 billion after the country got its membership in 1979. IFAD has so far extended loan and grant support to some 34 projects in Bangladesh benefitting some 11.7 million families. Out of those 34 projects, some 27 projects have already been completed while 7 are under implementation.
She mentioned that the Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) of IFAD would end in December this year while IFAD would further extend its support in the next COSOP (2023-2028) for Bangladesh especially in the areas of gender, nutrition and climate challenge.