In the picture Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Riaz Hamidullah.
On 28 January (2021), the Dutch NGOs, Foundations engaged in Bangladesh for decades reiterated their support towards Bangladesh in achieving her socio-economic development at an e-Conclave convened by the Embassy of Bangladesh in The Hague.
58 representatives from 30+ Dutch NGOs who have been active in diverse areas like children, women and girls, climate adaptation, health, education, water and sanitation, agriculture, mental health et al joined the e-Conclave. Moderated by Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Riaz Hamidullah, the e-Conclave was joined by Ambassador Karin Mossenlechner, Director (Asia & Oceania) in Dutch Foreign Ministry. Chairperson of the leading international (Bangladeshi) NGO, BRAC, Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman shared his reflections as the guest of honour.
Ambassador Hamidullah underlined that in spite of gaps in respect of endowment, capacity and knowledge, the deltaic nations (Bangladesh and Netherlands) remain bound by their values, innovation, resilience, entrepreneurial spirit. The two peoples celebrate pluralism, secularism, inclusion, humanitariansm, freedom; and strive to champion the same for people elsewhere. Calling the Dutch NGOs as ‘’Friends of Bangladesh people’’, he stressed on the growing mutuality of interest between the Dutch NGOs and their Bangladeshi peers to collaborate in Bangladesh in helping the people realise the SDGs.
Alluding to the long and historical ties between Bangladesh and the Netherlands, Ambassador Mossenlechner said that, alongside water sector development, the Netherlands is also supporting sustainable development of Bangladesh’s apparel and agriculture, including the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. She applauded the Embassy for such people-to-people contact through the NGOs, Foundations; and also recalled the high-level visits Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Netherlands (2015), the visits of Dutch Queen Maxima to Bangladesh (2015, 2019).
The BRAC Chair shared the challenges emerging in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic at the grassroots for the development actors in Bangladesh. He said, the pandemic particularlyimpacted on technology and migration albeit has also created scope for creative expansion of digital technology in supply chain, education, health care, agriculture. He elaborated that how Bangladesh stands more of an “initiative-driven society” than a ‘’policy driven’’ one Bangladesh remains open for Dutch NGOs to engage in Bangladesh more with creative ideas, innovative services.
The Dutch NGOs reflected on the emerging trends in rural Bangladesh and also possible further engagements. They termed Bangladesh as a country of opportunities, thanks to her young, energetic people.