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Extreme Poverty Eradication:
Joint Statement by Development NGOs

Leading development NGOs working on extreme poverty in Bangladesh met at the National Press Club on May 25, 2015, Dhaka to express practical support for Government plans to eradicate extreme poverty.
The NGOs welcomed both Bangladesh’s progress to Middle Income Country (MIC) status and its good track record on reducing extreme poverty which, since the early 1990s, had halved from 44% to 17.5% of the population in 2010. However, despite that good progress, the challenging fact remains that still at least about 17 million fellow citizens suffer the scourge of extreme poverty.
The NGOs congratulated the Government for recognizing the needs of the extreme poor. The Planning Commission had published a Background Paper on Extreme Poverty for the 7th Five Year Plan.
The NGOs stand ready to assist the Government to eradicate extreme poverty. But they call on Government now to move quickly to:

  • Ensure approximately additional 1% of the GDP is allocated annually to address extreme poverty in the National Budget for at least 5 fiscal years;
  • Within the context of good governance establish innovative and effective institutional mechanisms to coordinate efforts, devise appropriate policies, rationalize resources and oversee performance;
  • Replicate already successful targeted livelihood programs on extreme poverty which have a track-record of effective and sustainable impact.

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Pre Budget Seminar

With support from EEP/Shiree, Non-profit research and advocacy organization Unnayan Shamannay organized a pre-budget seminar on June 2, 2015 titled “Eradicating Extreme Poverty by 2021: The Budget We Really Want” at the Sagar-Runi Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity, Dhaka in Bangladesh.
Honorable Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Md. Abdur Razzak, MP was present at the event as the Chief Guest, while Begum Akhter Jahan, MP, honorable member of the same Parliamentary Standing Committee was there as the Special Guest. Former Chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Emeritus Fellow of Unnayan Shamannay Khondker Ibrahim Khaled Chaired the seminar. In the closing remarks, Chair of the seminar, Ibrahim Khaled said that the authorities need to move quickly to establish innovative and effective institutional mechanisms to coordinate efforts, devise appropriate policies, rationalize resources and oversee performance. This according to him will minimize leakage in safety net service delivery and ensure the extreme poor are reached. Dr. Taiabur Rahman, Professor of Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka presented the keynote paper.

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Finance Minister mentions EEP/Shiree in 2015/16 National Budget Speech

The Honorable Finance Minister, Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, delivered the 2015 - 16 Budget Speech on 4 June and he specifically singled out the Economic Empowerment of the Poorest in Bangladesh for its contribution to alleviate poverty of 10 lakh ultra poor.
EEP/Shiree takes this opportunity to thank the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division (RDCD) on the Ministry of Local Government for its continuing efforts to support EEP/Shiree. We also thank the members of the National Steering Committee, led by RDCD, for its support and strategic guidance over the years.

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Budget Help desk provided information on extreme poverty

Unnayan Shamannay because of its reputation as a leading budget analysis and budget related advocacy organization enjoys a good relationship with the Budget Analysis and Monitoring Unit (BAMU) of the Bangladesh National Parliament. Each year supported by BAMU and EEP/Shiree, Unnayan Shamannay operates a budget help desk at the National Parliament  during the budget session.

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Post Budget Seminar

With Support from EEP/Shiree, Unnayan Shamannay held a post-budget seminar titled “Extreme Poverty Eradication: Role of National Budget” at the VIP Lounge of the National Press Club, Dhaka on June 24, 2014.
Dr. Taiabur Rahman, Professor of Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka presented the keynote paper on behalf of Unnayan Shamannay and Former Chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Emeritus Fellow of Unnayan Shamannay Khondker Ibrahim Khaled Chaired the seminar. Nazmul Haque Prodhan MP (parliamentary constituency- Panchagarh 1) and Tipu Sultan MP (parliamentary constituency- Barisal 3) were present at the event as guests of honor.
The keynote paper pointed out that in the proposed budget resources worth 2.2 percent of GDP is allocated for SSNPs, while from this allocation not more than 0.5% of GDP is reaching the extreme poor of the country. However, to rid the country of extreme poverty within 2020-21, we should allocate at least 1.2 percent of the GDP for the extreme poor. Thus we need to allocate additional 0.7% of GDP for the extreme poor and this additional allocation need to be invested for replicating successful targeted livelihood programs.

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Extreme poverty and the 7th Five Year Plan discussed on EPRG-Bonik Barta roundtable

Over 140 participants - including ministers and senior development practitioners - attended a successful Extreme Poverty Research Group (EPRG) Round Table on 9 August 2015.
The aim was to support the Planning Commission in a policy consultation on to consider how Extreme Poverty (EP) could be  addressed in the soon to be published 7th Five Year Plan (5YP). The Daily BonikBarta to publish a special supplement on the event.which was entitled: “Extreme and Moderate Poverty, Social Protection and Lagging Reasons: Targets and Strategies In the 7th Five Year Plan (FY 2016-20)”.
The Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Planning, Mr. A. H. M. Mustafa Kamal, FCA, MP, was the Chief Guest. The Hon’ble State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning, M. A. Mannan, MP, was the Special Guest. Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Former Adviser of an Interim Caretaker Government was the Guest of Honor. The session was chaired by Dr. Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division, Planning Commission and moderated by Mr. Dewan Hanif Mahmud, Editor, Daily Bonik Barta. Dr. Zulfiqar Ali, Head of Research and Advocacy, EEP/Shiree was the key discussant in the event.

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EEP/Shiree participated 5th Agro Tech Bangladesh 2015

EEP/Shiree participated 5th Agro Tech Bangladesh 2015 which was held in International Convention City Basundhara during May 28-30, 2015.
The expo was organized by RDA Bogra where EEP/Shiree got a stall under the RDCD.
Honorable Minister Syed Ashraful Islam and State Minister Moshiur Rahman Ranga of LGRD, Abdul Mannan MP, Md Habibur Rahman MP and many participants visited EEP/Shiree stall.
Bhabesh Chanda Podder, Project Director of EEP/Shiree was present with his colleagues on this occasion.
See the photos of the event in the following slide show here.

Extreme Poverty Regional advocacy workshops in Barishal and Rangpur

As a part of series of advocacy workshops to address Extreme Poverty, EEP/Shiree commissioned Unnayan Shamannay to organize regional seminars on Eradication of Extreme Poverty from Bangladesh: The aim was to support regional consultations and build a wide commitment to action to eradicate Extreme Poverty. Workshops were held in Barishal on June 9, 2015 and Rangpur on August 24, 2015.
The seminars identified and addressed key factors and issues contributing to extreme poverty in the areas addressed in the Manifesto for the Extreme Poor - already widely agreed by government, civil society and development organisations.
Representatives from extreme poor households, local government and the public administration, private sector, mass media, youth, local civil society and development organizations working on extreme poverty reduction attended the seminars.

EEP regional coordination meetings on Extreme Poverty with Partner NGOs

To build common understanding between EEP and PNGOs on end-of-project exit, sustainability and savings strategy, to discuss implementation challenges and way forward, to share updated EEP information with the PNGOs and lessons from other regional projects, four regional coordination meetings were organized in CHT, Bogra, Sreemangal and Kuakata.


EEP/Shiree completed few surveys
 

Known as CMS-3- under EEP/Shiree’s change monitoring system – a regular surveys is conducted - now annually - for Scale Fund NGOs. The aim is to provide in depth socio-economic and nutritional data allowing an assessment of longer term change and the impact of project interventions. The survey is enhanced to include anthropometric data (Body Mass Index, Haemoglobin level). The panel survey is administered with a statistically significant sub sample of beneficiary households. Round 10 of the panel survey of CMS-3 has been completed recently.
An IYCF - Infant and Young Child Feeding - Impact Survey 2015 and 2015 Baseline Survey for anaemia in pregnant woman anaemia was also conducted.

Annie Chapados, Livelihood Advisor of DFID visited a Hellen Keller International (HKI) project in the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) area.

Website update

The EEP/Shiree website is constantly being updated. Readers may wish to note the following additions:

In this issue


Extreme Poverty Eradication: Joint Statement by Development NGOs
Pre Budget Seminar
Finance Minister mentions EEP/Shiree in 2015/16 National Budget Speech
Budget Help desk provided information on extreme poverty
Post Budget Seminar
Extreme poverty and the 7th Five Year Plan discussed on EPRG-Bonik Barta roundtable
EEP/Shiree participated 5th Agro Tech Bangladesh 2015
Extreme Poverty Regional Advocacy Workshops in Barishal and Rangpur
EEP regional coordination meetings on Extreme Poverty with Partner NGOs
EEP/Shiree completed few surveys
Website update
Interesting reading
Khatungonj Theke Motijheel

Social networks

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Interesting reading


Doing good by doing well
Things to know about evaluation
Bill Gates: The UK should be proud of its foreign aid and what it achieves
DFID CSO cooperation under review
DFID SoS ODI Speech
Changing world, changing aid: Where international development needs to go next
Op-Eds

Bonik Barta - August 23, 2015 - বাংলাদেশ থেকে দারিদ্র্য দূর করা কি অসম্ভব? - ড. এ কে এনামুল হক
The Daily Star - June 23, 2015 - Thinking Ahead – Dr. Taiabur Rahman
The Daily Star - April 13, 2015 - Can we eradicate extreme poverty in Bangladesh? – Wahiduddin Mahmud
Khatungonj Theke Motijheel

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali, Head of Research and Advocacy, EEP/Shiree, participated in TV Talk Show titled "Khatungonj Theke Motijheel" on the extreme poverty issues on the Independent Television. See the videos below.
Khatungonj Theke Motijheel, March 12, 2015 at 1 30 pm
Khatungonj Theke Motijheel, July 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm
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