Bangladesh has made huge progress in poverty reduction, almost halving over the past 20 years, but it still has a large number of around 30 million people living in extreme poverty, said Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman.
“We need to think of innovative ways of helping them who are living in extreme poverty. These are the people we see living on footpaths when we travel to work. So let’s not make this just a technical exercise, let’s keep them in our minds as a mental image of who we are doing this target setting for,” he said.
The central bank governor made the observations while presiding over a session, titled ‘Eradicate Poverty and Reducing Inequality’ of the ‘Draft Post 2015 Development Agenda’ which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina at the Winter Garden of Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.
Executive Director of BRAC Dr Mahbub Hossain moderated the session participated by Planning Commission member Dr Shamsul Alam and other participants from various development partners, government agencies and academia.
Atiur said there is progress in food security at the national level as food import has declined remarkably.
“But at the household level we should worry that dietary diversity often gets neglected as the very poor mainly eat rice with very few extras. So, we need to track dietary diversity as our health outcomes are more related to this than the quantity of food we eat.”
He also appreciated the Planning Commission for successfully steering the consultative process involving all relevant stakeholders and coming up with a neat draft agenda which is both national and global in outlook.