Mon, 26 February 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Melinda Gates congratulates PM Hasina on re-election, lauds Bangladesh’s dev

Update : 06 Feb 2024, 12:23

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her reelection as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

In a greeting letter sent by Co-chair and Trustee of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda French Gates to the Premier, she wished all the best as Sheikh Hasina began a new term as Prime Minister.

"I know that I join everyone at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in expressing how much we value our longstanding partnership with Bangladesh," she said.

"We hope to continue supporting Bangladesh's development goals as aligned with the SDGs and the government's 8th Five Year Plan," she added.

Melinda French Gates said Bangladesh is poised to become a regional and global exemplar in adopting technology and innovations, and "we are committed to providing ongoing support for your financial inclusion goals, including your visionary Digital Bangladesh initiative".

She continued, "Our foundation has partnered with a2i and ICT to develop an inclusive digital financial ecosystem, and we are collaborating with the Central Bank to contribute to your SMART Bangladesh Vision for 2041."

She said, "Our foundation also shares your commitment to ensuring food security for all."

She also mentioned that they are working with Bangladesh Rice Research Institute to modernize rice breeding and maintain productivity in the face of climate change.

The Co-chair of the foundation congratulated Sheikh Hasina's government on successfully completing the National Plan of Action on Nutrition and passing the National Food and Security Policy 2020-2030.

In this regard, she said the foundation's nutrition team focused on reducing micronutrient deficiencies through large-scale food fortification, and "I hope we can grow our collaboration with your government".

Mentioning that Bangladesh has achieved great progress in providing access to safe water and sanitation, she said they have partnered with government departments to scale the Citywide Inclusive Sanitation, Fecal Sludge Management Support Cell.

Additionally, she said they are working with DPHE and a2i to establish a Sanitation Data Command Center in Bangladesh, the first of its kind in South Asia.

Memorandum of understanding with the Economic Relations Division was pivotal for unlocking these collaboration pathways, Melinda French Gates said, adding, "I hope we can develop a more comprehensive agreement spanning all our development priorities."

She also commended Sheikh Hasina's commitment to strengthening primary healthcare systems and making them more equitable.

She, as well, mentioned that Sheikh Hasina's administration's introduction of the HPV vaccine into the national immunization program is a remarkable achievement, and the foundation is glad as was one of the partners for this initiative.

Congratulating the launch of the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan, Melinda French Gates said that like Sheikh Hasina's government's focus at COP28, the foundation is advocating for increasing adaptation finance and gender-responsive climate action.

She added: "I hope we can find ways to collaborate on these efforts and unlock climate adaptation opportunities for Bangladesh."

Revealing that an executive delegation from the foundation will be visiting Bangladesh this year, she hoped they can meet senior members of Sheikh Hasina's administration to discuss their joint efforts and future collaborations in driving global health and development.

She also mentioned that Hari Menon, who leads the foundation's work in South and Southeast Asia, and Jamal Khan, who leads their government relations with the Government of Bangladesh, will reach out to the Prime Minister's office to plan this visit.

Melinda French Gates ended her letter, saying, "I look forward to continuing our strong partnership and together driving progress toward our shared goals."

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