The Australian High Commission in Bangladesh has expressed its eagerness to support programmes aimed at establishing the rights of women – especially of poor women – and child protection in Bangladesh while visiting programmes undertaken by Brac in Ukhiya.
A high level team of the Australian High Commission in Dhaka made the remarks while visiting programmes established to improve the conditions of the host community in Ukhiya upazila of Cox's Bazar, on Tuesday.
The delegation – including Amy Sheridan, humanitarian advisor, and Anna Lamming, humanitarian officer of the High Commission – visited Safe Space for Women and Girls at Goyalmara, and a Brac Primary School (non-formal school), financed by the Australian government, in Hazimmapara village in Ratnapalong union.
The delegation stayed for some time at the space where they exchanged views with the Brac officials.
"The Australian government attaches importance to the issue of education and health of poor women, and prevention of early marriage and protection of children. Our government will consider the matter of cooperation in those fields in the days to come," said Amy.
Brac launched the Support to the Rohingya Humanitarian Response in Cox's Bazar programme, in Ukhiya, with financial support from the Australian government, in March 2020. The project is likely to end in December 2022.
Sajedul Hasan, director of the Humanitarian Programme, Brac and Brac International; Hasina Akhter Huq, area director of the Humanitarian Crisis Management Programme; Matin Shardar, head of host community; and others were present during the visit.
While talking to women at the centre, the delegation lauded the steps taken by Brac to improve the condition of the host community. They also assured they would extend their necessary support in this regard.
The delegation also went to Disabled Leadership Learning Centre at Painnasia village and talked to the employees working there.
During the visit, Amy Sheridan suggested taking realistic steps and holding a special orientation meeting by involving the host community to prevent early marriage.
Sajedul Hasan said, "Brac took up different programmes for combating child marriage and spreading education among the children of poor people."
Hasina Akhter Huq said, "Brac has taken up programmes for the skill development of poor people for their income generating activities."
She seeks long term support from the Australian government to launch an anti-poverty programme in the same areas.