IMF to continue support for Bangladesh to be developed country by 2041

The country has sought assistance from the IMF as a pre-emptive measure, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says

Published : 16 Jan 2023, 12:28 PM
Updated : 16 Jan 2023, 12:28 PM

The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, has assured Bangladesh of continuing support for its goal of becoming a developed and higher-income country by 2041.

"Bangladesh has aspirations to become a developed, prosperous and higher income country by 2041, and IMF will continue its support," said Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, the international lending agency's deputy managing director, while paying a call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka.

Antoinette said the IMF cherishes the long-standing partnership with Bangladesh, and her visit to Dhaka was aimed at further strengthening the relationship, BSS reports.

The prime minister said Bangladesh does not want any assistance from the IMF as a bail-out, but rather the country has asked for the support as a pre-emptive measure, Md Nazrul Islam, the PM's speechwriter, told reporters after the meeting.

The IMF deputy managing director said the world faces challenges due to the staggering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficult situation because of the Russia-Ukraine war.

In this situation, emerging economies like Bangladesh are facing different problems related to inflationary pressure, price hikes of commodities and dwindling foreign currency reserves, she said.

She continued that the IMF will stand by Bangladesh's efforts to face these problems, said the report.

Hasina said the pace of the country's progress has slowed down due to the pandemic, the war, and the series of sanctions and counter-sanctions.

Bangladesh has also fallen into difficulties due to the commodity price hike, she said, adding that the government has widened the social safety net and expanded food programmes to support lower-income people.

The government has undertaken development programmes targeting poverty alleviation and food security as well as various measures like widening social safety net coverage and providing food and other essentials through TCB and VGF cards to lessen poor people's suffering, Hasina added.

She said Bangladesh is cultivating fallow land to boost food production.

Lower-income people are suffering from high inflation even in many developed countries, she added.

Antoinette praised the socio-economic transformation of Bangladesh under Hasina’s leadership.

She also mentioned the successes of the government in various sectors including women’s empowerment, education, and agriculture and achieving over 6 percent GDP growth during the last decade.

Highlighting various development programmes by her government, the prime minister said the aim of such programmes was to alleviate poverty and ensure food security for the poor.

The government has taken steps to encourage young entrepreneurs who want to be self-dependent through initiatives like the Young Bangla Movement, said Hasina.

She also highlighted her government's measures for women's empowerment and female education, saying 60 percent of the primary teachers are female, while gender parity in the secondary level has come with the ratio of girls to boys being 53 to 47.

The government has also placed utmost importance on ICT, she said, adding a strong and young freelancer community that has developed in the country as necessary training and incentives are being provided.

Hasina also mentioned services being provided by community clinics and said women living in the villages are its main beneficiaries.