The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is annually held worldwide. This year, to commemorate the day, the non-governmental development organisation BRAC has organised a webinar titled ‘Breaking the barriers of poverty: New priorities in poverty reduction in the backdrop of COVID-19’.
The webinar’s main objective is to call attention to the initiatives that the government and development partners are taking to attain SDG-1 (No poverty), especially now as the economic recovery efforts of COVID-19 are underway.
The webinar was attended by Judith Herbertson, Development Director, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Bangladesh; Mercy Miyang Tembon, Country Director, The World Bank, Bangladesh and Bhutan; Syed M Hashemi, Former Senior Advisor, The World Bank, and Shameran Abed, Senior Director, Microfinance and Ultra-Poor Graduation, BRAC and BRAC International.
It was chaired by Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, Former Adviser to the caretaker Government of Bangladesh, Chairperson, BRAC. BRAC’s fight against poverty and COVID-19 response in the field level was also discussed in this webinar.
Tembon from The World Bank, in her discussion, said, ‘Bangladesh has a very good policy, what is required is effective implementation on the ground and utilization of resources, more opportunity has to be created in the economy, and vulnerable people can use social safety nets to build their resilience against disasters.’
Judith Herbertson of FCDO, while complementing Bangladeshi peoples’ resilience, mentioned that more focus needs to be on the right targeting social safety net programs. She emphasized innovation and the government’s various development planning during COVID-19 pandemics.
Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Chairperson of BRAC, in his deliberation mentioned that we need to bring in social justice and tolerance as an aspect of poverty reduction. We have to look beyond good policies and understand policy understanding gaps and our limitations.
Since 1972, BRAC has been at the forefront of poverty reduction activities in Bangladesh. BRAC through implementing its flagship ‘Ultra Poor Graduation Programme’, which is the pioneer of the ‘Graduation approach’, a globally recognized model for its innovative and holistic solution to ultra-poverty, has supported more than 2 million households to graduate from ultra-poverty in Bangladesh since 2002. Currently, worldwide, around a hundred Graduation programs are being implemented in 40 countries through governments, donors, BRAC, and other implementing agencies.