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Bangladesh Social Forum

By farjana - Posted on 14 October 2008

Bangladesh is passing through multi-faceted challenges in the recent past propagated by its economic depression due to deregulation of the state machinery dictated from International Financial Institutions. Commoner's life and livelihood is highly suppressed from inflation, unemployment and unprecedented risks. Triple attack of food, fuel and financial crisis on the global economy is also affecting peoples' daily life as the country is a net food importing LDC and its remittance mostly comes from by exporting garments and frozen foods along with low skilled manpower.  Bangladesh needs increased investment in food, griculture, employment generation along with spending in basic services. But the govt. can not invest more as they have
to pay back more than USD 1500 million for debt servicing per annum to World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank and to other bi-lateral donors, which is more than 15% of it's national budget. Besides new loan programs in the name of Multi Donor Trust Fund proposed to be managed by World Bank will trap its citizens to new debt burden. Massive awareness needs to be created to
challenge this undemocratic venture of the Bank.

Upcoming Event: 'IFIs and Development Effectiveness: Linking Financial Crisis to Food, Debt and Climate Change'

By farjana - Posted on 14 October 2008

Thursday 16 October 2008

VOICE is going to organize a discussion meeting on `IFIs are the Major Barriers to Development Effectiveness: Linking Financial Crisis to Food, Debt and Climate Change'.

The objective of the workshop is to critically examine the neo-liberal perspective-- the policies and projects of international financial
institutions (IFIs), and its relation with food, debt and climate crisis. Also the discussion will highlight how the corporate globalization, the IFIs and transnational corporations make the world economic order worsen and create recent global financial crisis which puts negative impact over national economy and affects people's life and livelihood.

Time: 9:00am-1:00pm
Location
: CIRDAP Conference Hall , Dhaka

This will involve a wide range of civil society including activists, researchers, academicians, journalists, women groups, farmer's associations,local and national NGOs and members of professional bodies. Eminent economists, experts and representatives of NGOs and CSOs among others will be present as key discussants.

Please contact us for more information! (email: exchange.voice@gmail.com, Mobile: 01712-990078)

Bangladesh Week of Action against Poverty, Hunger and Unjust Development Paradigm

By farjana - Posted on 13 October 2008

[12 October, Dhaka] Speakers at a press conference said that the international financial institutions (IFIs) have a disastrous consequences over people's life and livelihood over the years due to policy prescriptions and bad projects of IFIs.  The press conference was held at the Dhaka Reporter's Unity in the city today to observe the Bangladesh Week of Action against poverty, hunger and unjust development paradigm. The Bangladesh Social Forum organized the press conference on the eve of World Bank-IMF annual general meeting scheduled from coming 15-17 October in Washington DC.

Climate Change: Close monitoring of ADB activities stressed

By farjana - Posted on 24 September 2008

http://thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=56285

Speakers at a consultation yesterday agreed to monitor closely the policies, projects and programmes of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Bangladesh.

They evaluated the recently drafted national action plan on climate change, says a press release. The national action plan was drafted without any public participation especially the vulnerable communities.

The daylong consultation on 'Environment and Climate Change: Role of the ADB in Bangladesh' held at the auditorium of Campaign for Popular Education (Campe) in the city was attended by nearly 40 representatives from NGOs, civil society organisations, academicians, journalists and human rights activists.

The speakers demanded that international financial institutions (IFIs) and northern multinational companies should shed the climate hypocrisy if they want to consider impacts of climate change on people.

Workshop held on Environment and Climate Change: Role of the ADB in Bangladesh

By farjana - Posted on 24 September 2008

Participants from various civil society organizations agreed to monitor closely the
 policies, projects and programs of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Bangladesh in the face of changing nature of the ADB. Speakers critically evaluated recently drafted the national action plan on climate change. The national action plan was drafted without any public participation especially the vulnerable communities. 

The day long consultation on Environment and Climate Change: Role of the ADB in Bangladesh held at the Mohammadpur auditorium attended by nearly 40 representatives from NGOs, civil society organizations, academicians, journalists and human rights activists across the country. Speakers demanded that international financial institutions (IFIs) and northern multinational companies should shed the climate hypocrisy if they want to consider impacts of climate change on people.

The event was organized by Voice, a research and advocacy organization based in Dhaka and Manila based NGO Forum on ADB- an international civil society networks.

Transparency and accountability in water sector stressed in the dialogue

By farjana - Posted on 18 September 2008

[Voice, Mymensingh, 18 September 2008]

A dialogue on water sector transparency and accountability has been held in Mymensingh Pourashava auditorium organized by Voice, a Dhaka based research and advocacy organization. Mayor of Mymensingh pourashava, Advocate Mahmud Al-Noor Tarek presided over the occasion while Additional District Commissioner of Mymensingh Mohammad Mohsin attended as a special guest. Representatives from local government and engineering department, NGOs, CSOs, professional bodies, business communities, journalists, members and councilors of municipality attended the function. The dialogue was moderated by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of Voice.

Upcoming Event: 'Environment and Climate Change : Role of Asian Development Bank in Bangladesh’

By farjana - Posted on 16 September 2008

VOICE is organizing a day long workshop on 'Environment and Climate Change : Role of Asian Development Bank in Bangladesh’

Day: Tuesday 23 September 2008
Time: 9:00am-6:00pm
Location: Dhaka

The objective of the workshop is to examine the neo-liberal perspective--the policies and projects of international financial organizations (IFIs), and in particular to analyze the role of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Speaker: Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director,VOICE, Avlash Raul, NGO Forum on ADB, Dr. Piash Karim, Brac University

The workshop will involve NGOs/CSOs from both national and local levels who are engaged in the relevant field.

Please contact us for more information! (email: exchange.voice@gmail.com, Mobile: 01712-990078)

Climate change under neoliberal capitalism

By farjana - Posted on 11 September 2008

http://www.newagebd.com/2008/sep/11/oped.html

There is little doubt that climate change is happening. As countries and international organisations ponder over how resolve an impending crisis brought about by global warming, they should also stop to consider whether the prevailing market oriented economy makes enough of an allowance to arrive at sustainable and genuine measures to contain this impending crisis… writes Ahmed Swapan Mahmud

Statement on Climate Change

By farjana - Posted on 11 September 2008

VOICE/ Aid Accountability Group/ Right to Food Movement
Statement on Climate Change
[Dhaka, Bangladesh, September 2008]

Background
London Conference on Climate Change is taking place on September 10 2008 for strategic decision to overcome climate change crisis. A Multi-donor Trust Fund is to be initiated as discussed in an earlier conference by UK government’s Department for International Development held in Dhaka in March 2008. Bangladesh government will present a paper titled Climate Change Strategy and Action for Bangladesh in London Conference. This statement expresses some critical concerns toward London Conference and calls stakeholders at all levels including development actors, socialmovement groups, indigenous communities, fisher folks, farmers, women, human rights activists, professional bodies, trade unions, NGOs, CSOs, communities,vulnerable and marginalized groups, citizens and political actors for endorsement.

Climate Context
The disastrous consequence of climate change has already threatened the planet and global communities. However, the strong resistance is presence among the northern as well as southern communities to change the existing system of over consumption

VOICE organized a press conference 'End Policy Conditionalities, Ensure Democratic Ownership'

By farjana - Posted on 28 August 2008

No strings with foreign aid demanded

Social and development activists on Monday called for bringing an end to conditions in taking foreign aid and ensure a transparent, accountable and coordinated process based on the UN charter.

Representatives of a number of organisations, under the banner of Aid Accountability Group, expressed their concern over the issue at a news conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity, organised ahead of the ministerial meeting on ‘effectiveness of foreign aid’ to be held in Ghanaian capital Accra in September 2-4.

The speakers warned that the US and the World Bank at the Accra meeting would try to establish the dominance of the lenders in setting terms and conditions for providing foreign assistance to developing countries.

Alongside the ministerial meeting, citizens’ organisation from all over the world will also meet in Accra from August 31 to September 1 to discuss how foreign assistance can be made more effective in the development process of a country.
The coordinator of the Aid Accountability Group, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, also the executive director of Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment, stressed ensuring ‘democratic ownership’ of foreign aid.