A two-day long forum titled “Symposium on Adaptive Social Protection: Technical and Policy Considerations” initiated by United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP) is being held in the capital’s InterContinental Dhaka.
The forum is jointly organized by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief in partnership with the World Bank, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and UNWFP.
Representatives from government ministries, development partners, academia, think tanks and UN agencies, have gathered in Dhaka to discuss the role social safety nets play in addressing climate change, building community resilience and helping Bangladesh achieve the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
In the symposium, WFP Country Director Richard Ragan said: “It is a great platform for us to examine social protection, disaster risk management and climate change in a holistic manner. The discussions and experience-sharing will help us determine the future direction of adaptive social protection and how it can contribute to the national development agenda in Bangladesh.”
Among others, Minister of State for Disaster Management Md Enamur Rahman was present in the symposium where he said: “This is an important shift in our thought process on disaster management. We are also at the planning stage for preparing the eighth five-year plan. Therefore, this is the right time to organize this symposium on adaptive social protection, and come up with clear policy guidelines, especially on targeting poverty and vulnerability.”
Bangladesh is well on its way to graduating to a middle-income country status by 2024, its development trajectory faces considerable challenges due to its vulnerability to natural and climate-induced disasters.
As per reports, more than 80 percent of the population is vulnerable to such shocks but together with rapid urbanization, these shocks are subjected to have far-reaching consequences on the less fortunate and could potentially push more people into poverty.
Dandan Chen, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan said: “There is still one-fourth of the population living in poverty, including 20 million people living in extreme poverty. By enabling social protection to better address the impacts of climate change, adaptive social protection can be critical in building resilience and creating opportunities for the country’s vulnerable population.”
“Because of its unique geographic location, Bangladesh will continue facing adverse effects of global warming and climate change in the future. DFID is very happy to partner with the Government of Bangladesh to address the needs of vulnerable and marginalized people through implementing a range of social protection schemes, such as adaptive social protection.” Judith Herbertson, Head of DFID Bangladesh said.
The symposium started on September 2 and is being held from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, and is scheduled to conclude today.