Number of people below poverty line keeps rising
Donor countries not living up to their
Some 36 per cent of the total population of the country is mired in
extreme poverty and the number of people living below the poverty line
is increasing day by day.
The Sushasoner Jonyo Procharabhijan (SUPRO), a network of local NGOs
and civil society organisations working for good governance, on Friday
presented the figures in an assessment report on the progress being
made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals set by the UN.
The research paper presented by Syed Aminul Haque, coordinator of the
policy research cell of SUPRO, said that the poverty rate dropped by
eight per cent in a span of 15 years, up to 2005.
In this context, fulfilling the eight targets of the MDGs is difficult
for poor countries like Bangladesh. He observed that Bangladesh should
get donation of $7.5 billion, which is four times higher than the sum
donated by foreign sources every year for achieving the MDGs.
The latest statistics of the Bangladesh Bank show that foreign donation
is decreasing day by day. It was $1,179 million in 1999, but decreased
to $752.36 million in 2006.
Bangladesh’s development budget is still greatly dependent on foreign
aid, with as much as 49 per cent of the annual outlay coming from
abroad. As much as 13.5 per cent of the national budget goes to pay
interest on loans, said SUPRO.
SUPRO said Bangladesh has made good progress in education, health and
gender equality but is lagging behind in reducing the infant mortality
rate, preventing AIDS and ensuring fresh air.
SUPRO claimed donor countries were not living up to their aid
commitments to poor countries, and urged the First World nations to
increase their aid to the poor countries to help them to achieve the
millennium development goals by 2015.
‘If the donors do not provide assistance in line with their
commitments, developing countries will face tremendous difficulties,’
According to the organisation, there was a commitment to provide 0.7
per cent of the total national income of the donor countries to the
poor countries. But the former are giving only 0.33 per cent of their
annual incomes as aid and assistance to poor nations. Foreign donation
reached a record of $106.8 billion in 2005, but even then it was only
0.3 per cent of the developed countries’ income.
SUPRO on Friday launched a month-long campaign on MDGs on the eve of
the Mid-Term Review of Millennium Development Goals at the auditorium
of the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity. The campaign was launched through a
press conference titled ‘Progress, Review & Evaluation of MDGs: No
Reason for Complacency’. SUPRO’s chairperson Abdul Awal, general
secretary Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and CEO Prodip Kumar Roy spoke at the