July 18, 2024, 9:51 am

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2019-07-25 20:37:14 BdST

EU to support Bangladesh achieve SDGs

The European Union (EU) has launched a new financial package of €142 million to strengthen public financial management and social security in Bangladesh.

The EU has reiterated its commitment to eradicate poverty and inequalities and its support to Bangladesh to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to graduate to a middle-income country.

Two EU-funded programmes have been launched to support key national reform agendas in public financial management and social security and to contribute to implement two important sector strategies, said the EU Embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The Public Financial Management Reform Strategy (PFM-RS) sets out the key goals and objectives of reforms in the sector and identifies priority actions. 

The National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) sets an important roadmap to enhance the governance, institutional capacity and accountability of the social security system to better serve the needs of poor and vulnerable Bangladeshis, along the life-cycle.

ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed acknowledged the longstanding support of EU in sectors as crucial as PFM and social security.

“We’re looking forward to further strengthening our solid partnership with one of our key donors in Bangladesh and together making an important contribution to reaching the SDGs by 2030,” he said.

EU Ambassador Rensje Teerink said public financial management and social protection represent fundamental areas of collaboration for the EU in Bangladesh. 

“As the country looks forward to the 8th Five Year Plan, they remain key priorities," she said adding that the EU's contribution aims to address core elements of system strengthening and policy development. 

The EU envoy said the focus will be on improving domestic resource mobilisation, promoting domestic accountability and enhancing delivery of social security to Bangladeshis in need – with the shared objective to leave no one behind.

Bangladesh has made great developmental progress over the last decades, said the EU Embassy in Dhaka in a media release. 

The country still needs to address a number of challenges and build new strengths to ensure inclusive growth and transition to middle-income status will also depend on addressing these challenges, it said, mentioning that “PFM and social security feature as salient preconditions”.

The programme of supporting to the implementation of the PFM Reform Strategic Plan, of €10 million, aims at strengthening domestic revenue mobilisation and domestic accountability.

It will provide targeted technical assistance to the Government agencies in the areas of domestic revenue mobilisation with the National Board of Revenues and domestic accountability with the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General and with the National Parliament.

The programme of support to NSSS reforms will provide €130 million as budget support, linked to jointly agreed performance indicators over the next four years. 

The programme will address core elements of system strengthening and policy development with a focus on women and young children. 

Technical assistance is also provided to support the cluster of institutions responsible to coordinate and deliver NSSS reforms.

This includes the Cabinet Division, the Finance Division of the Ministry of Finance, the General Economic Division of the Planning Commission, the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and the Ministry of Social Welfare.

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