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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to take initiative in forming a large fund for the Rohingyas

She made this call to the UNDP expressing her interest in the establishment of a large international fund for the assistance of Rohingyas. Yesterday (18th March), she discussed this matter with the UNDP Resident Representative and the Crown Princess of Sweden at a meeting held in a hotel in the capital.

At the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister’s speechwriter, Md. Nazrul Islam, informed the journalists about this information. Apart from the Rohingya issue, various bilateral and multilateral issues including climate change were also discussed during the meeting.

Concerning the reduction of international funds for Rohingyas, Prime Minister Hasina emphasized on urging the UNDP to make stronger efforts to ensure a larger amount of funds for their assistance.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated that Bangladesh has provided shelter to Rohingya refugees for humanitarian reasons and has ensured necessary facilities and advanced housing arrangements for them in the refugee camps. Nearly one million Rohingyas can reside in the camps.

In addition to assisting Rohingyas, the Prime Minister has sought UNDP’s assistance in relocating more Rohingyas to Bhasan Char.

Sheikh Hasina urged Swedish businessmen for more significant investments, especially in the economic zones of Bangladesh. Referring to Bangladesh as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, she emphasized on the significant contributions of Bangladesh in carbon emission reduction while facing severe damages due to climate change-induced natural disasters like floods and cyclones.

Regarding local climate adaptation and mitigation programs, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh has formed a climate trust to protect local communities and their livelihoods.

The Prime Minister stated that the primary goal of her government is poverty alleviation, resulting in a reduction in poverty rate from 41.7% to 18.7% and extreme poverty rate from 25.1% to 5.6%.

Sheikh Hasina reminisced about her first trip to Sweden in 1969 when her husband was studying there.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden mentioned that there are extensive opportunities for further deepening bilateral relations between Sweden and Bangladesh. She expressed optimism about strengthening bilateral relations, especially in trade, business, and investment sectors.

After a four-day visit, Victoria arrived in Dhaka yesterday (Monday). She has plans to visit Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char to inspect Rohingya camps.

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