Dutch NGOs and foundations working in Bangladesh for decades have reiterated their support towards Bangladesh at a virtually held e-Conclave of Dutch NGOs, convened by Bangladesh Embassy in The Hague.
Some 58 representatives from over 30 Dutch NGOs, who have been active across areas in Bangladesh including children, women and girls, climate adaptation, health, education, water and sanitation, agriculture, and mental health joined.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Riaz Hamidullah moderated the event held on Thursday evening, said the Embassy on Friday.
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The participating NGOs appreciated the initiative of the Embassy in building bridges between the government and the Dutch development actors.
They termed Bangladesh as a “very friendly country for the foreign NGOs”, “as a land of opportunities”, thanks to the “young, energetic people”.
Terming the Dutch NGO as ‘Friends of Bangladesh people’, Ambassador Hamidullah appreciated the commendable contribution of Dutch NGOs in Bangladesh across diverse sectors.He said in spite of gaps in respect of wealth, capacity and knowledge, the two deltaic nations are bound by their values, diligence, innovation, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit.
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The two nations also celebrate pluralism, secularism, inclusion, freedom and strive to champion the same for people elsewhere.
He called upon the Dutch NGOs for continued engagements in Bangladesh in realising the SDGs.
Karin Mossenlechner, Director of (Asia & Oceania Department) of Dutch Foreign Ministry, applauded the interaction with the Dutch NGOs.
Alluding to the long and historical ties between Bangladesh and the Netherlands, she said that aside water sector development, the Netherlands is also supporting in development of Bangladesh apparel and agriculture sectors.
She underlined the need for such people-to-people contact through the NGOs and foundations.
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She also recalled the high-level visits of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Netherlands (2015) and the visits of Dutch Queen Maxima to Bangladesh (2015, 2019).
BRAC Chairperson Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman shared his reflections on the emerging challenges for the development actors at grassroots in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
The participating NGOs engaged spontaneously, reflected on the emerging trends in Bangladesh and also further engagements in rural Bangladesh.
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He told the Conclave that COVID-19 pandemic, among others, explicitly affected technology and migration.
The pandemic has created scope for creative expansion of digital technology, especially in supply chain management, education, health care, etc. Mentioning that Bangladesh remains more of an initiative-driven society, he stressed that the pandemic has created newer avenues for the Dutch NGOs in Bangladesh, employing innovative ideas, services.
He also pointed for the NGOs to engage with the local government bodies at grassroots in development of health and education sectors in Bangladesh.
(Written by MK, Edited by: ZK)