Despite global turbulence and economic uncertainty, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh told the General Assembly on Friday evening that her country has often been cited as a “development miracle”.
“Bangladesh recorded the highest economic growth among a list of 26 countries in the last 10 years”, said Sheikh Hasina, noting a 188 percent expansion in its gross domestic product (GDP), which “has grown from $102 billion in 2009 to $302 billion this year”.
Citing poverty and inequality as two major obstacles to development, she pointed out that “poverty eradication, sustainable growth, protection of the environment and human-resources development are some of the key features of our development strategy”.
“Bangladesh has achieved one of the fastest poverty reduction rates in the world”, the Prime Minister said, explaining that over the past 10 years, the country has adopted progressive and timely policies, with a key development strategy that tackles inequality through social security, decent work, and financial inclusion.
Other sustainable development achievements
“Having achieved the milestones of gender parity”, she said, “we are now focusing on enhancing the quality of education with an emphasis on e-learning, and qualified teachers”.
And she maintained that Bangladesh’s school drop-out rate has gone down from 50 to 18 percent.
Moreover, the country has created an extensive network of 18,000 community clinics and Union Health Centres to bring health coverage to the entire population.
“These centers provide 30 different types of medicine free of cost and free primary health services to the rural people”, she explained, adding that 80 percent of recipients are women and children.
Ms. Hasina called the blue economy Bangladesh’s “new frontier of opportunities”, saying, “we are contributing to UN’s norm-setting exercises on protecting marine biological diversity in the areas within and beyond national jurisdiction”.
Turning to climate change, she pointed out that Bangladesh is a coalition partner on climate resilience and adaptation and has adopted “transformative and innovative climate resilient technology and crops for reducing disaster risks”.