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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Rohingyas a bar to SDGs

The Daily Star
Says chief of SDG affairs
Star Business Report

Rohingyas are an extra burden for Bangladesh in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said a top official at Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

“Around 1.1 million Rohingya people became a burden for Bangladesh. It is one of the big challenges for Bangladesh in achieving the SDGs on time,” said Md Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator for SDG affairs at the PMO.

He was addressing a discussion on “Private sector engagement for SDG-6” jointly organised by HSBC and WaterAid at InterContinental Hotel Dhaka yesterday.

Azad said the government has taken all necessary initiatives to achieve the SDGs by 2030. He was optimistic of the attainment of the SDGs, especially if everybody involved, including the private sector, provided assistance from their respective fields.

Francois de Maricourt, chief executive officer of HSBC Bangladesh, said the bank was committed to supporting clients to develop sustainable supply chains that support their global growth ambitions. “We look forward to continuing to work with Water Aid to deliver essential water, sanitation and hygiene services that transform working and living conditions and improve water management in Bangladesh's apparel sector,” he said.

Md Khairul Islam, country director, WaterAid Bangladesh, in a keynote presentation, highlighted the efforts taken by WaterAid and HSBC.

“Businesses can and should be part of the solution to the global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) challenge – this, in turn, can present business benefits and opportunities as well,” he said.

“Engaging business and industry partners is a vital step in driving action and creating transformational change, and can profoundly accelerate the country's efforts in reaching the SDG 6 targets by 2030,” he added.

The event included a panel discussion to initiate dialog on prospects, opportunities and solutions for a sustainable supply chain considering SDG 6 for the private sector partners in Bangladesh.

The panel members included Matthew K Lobner, group general manager, head of international and head of strategy & planning – Asia-Pacific, HSBC; Kedar Lele, CEO & managing director, Unilever Bangladesh; Kyoko Yokosuka, deputy resident representative, UNDP Bangladesh; Rubana Huq, managing director, Mohammadi Group, and Sultan Ahmed, director general, Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The discussion was moderated by Prof Emeritus Ainun Nishat of Brac University. 

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