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Bangladesh News
  • The World Bank (WB) yesterday approved a $1.25 billion financing in three new projects for Bangladesh for green and resilient growth, said the multilateral lender today.

  • Of the projects, the WB will provide $500 million for a project termed Program on Agricultural and Rural Transformation for Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, and Resilience (PARTNER).

Bloomberg: How Floating Farms Are Helping Bangladesh Adapt to Climate Change

  • The traditional practice of growing vegetables, fruits and spices on rafts is now a tool for farmers contending with extreme weather, floods and sea level rise.

  • o reach his farm, Mohammad Mohasin has an unusual commute. The 40-year-old either rows in a wooden canoe or swims to the field of crops — which is floating in a body of water in Barisal, a southern region of Bangladesh.

  • Tomatoes, pumpkins, potatoes, beans, eggplants and cucumbers are among the produce that he cultivates in curiously green, buoyant rows.

BDNews24: Bangladesh is poised to be a regional hub of investment, says Hasina

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is going to be a regional hub for investment, industrialisation and export due to the government's pragmatic policies, calling for more Japanese investment in larger volumes.

  • Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority co-organised the event titled “Trade and Investment Opportunities between Bangladesh and Japan”, according to state-run news agency BSS.

Mint: How India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline enhances energy connectivity between the two nations

  • The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFP) is a joint effort to transport high-speed diesel from the Numaligarh Refinery Limited in Assam, India to 16 districts in northern Bangladesh's Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions, with the aid of Bangladesh Petroleum Limited.

  • The IBFP will lower the transportation costs of each imported diesel barrel from the port cities of Chattogram and Mongla, decreasing it from US$ 8 to US$ 5.

  • The new cross-border pipeline, the first of its kind, stretches from Siliguri in West Bengal, India to the oil depot in Parbatipur upazila in the Dinajpur district of Bangladesh. It covers a distance of approximately 132 km, with only 5 km located in India, and the remaining 127 km situated in Bangladesh.

  • The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline project is noteworthy as it provides a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective means of transporting High-Speed Diesel.

Forbes: The Pros And Cons Of Being A Female Founder Of Color With Purpose

  • Sylvana Q. Sinha is the Founder, Chair, and CEO of Praava Health, a groundbreaking community health organization in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After a personal experience with her mother’s own health needs, Sinha summoned the innovative model and funding required to offer high-quality care as well as the diagnostics to support it.

  • The business model is described in a Harvard Business School case.

  • The article discusses Sinha’s purposeful approach to creating, leading, and growing Praava, including the trust and relationships she’s needed to build. And the challenges of doing that as a sole female founder of colour.

Arab News: Bangladesh swears in new president ahead of polls

  • Mohammed Shahabuddin, a former judge and a ruling party official, was sworn in as the president of Bangladesh on Monday, just months before a general election.

  • Shahabuddin, 73, was an anti-corruption commissioner and fought in the country’s 1971 war of independence, the presidential palace said.

  • China and Western countries are vying for influence in the South Asian country of 170 million people, with Beijing investing billions of dollars on infrastructure projects there under its Belt and Road initiative. Russia is also building a $12.65-billion nuclear power plant outside Dhaka to improve the country’s shaky electricity network.

  • Bangladesh has agreed to pay Russia about $300 million in yuan to settle payment for building the facility, Bloomberg News reported last week.

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA): A four-point budget proposal to boost clean energy in Bangladesh

  • As the finance minister of Bangladesh prepares to release the national budget for 2023–24 in June, the energy and power sectors should be a focus. Despite the success of the incumbent government over the last decade in accelerating power generation capacity, reliance on imported fossil fuels has exposed the country’s vulnerability to external energy price shocks. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) is also experiencing the uphill task of managing the burgeoning subsidy burden.

  • Against this backdrop, the upcoming budget could guide the vulnerable power and energy sectors towards economic sustainability and energy security. The national budget should aim to spur renewable energy expansion, particularly solar. Budgetary support for clean energy initiatives and directives to utilise expensive fossil fuels-based power plants could boost clean energy in the country. 

  • Over the last decade, Bangladesh has made significant efforts towards renewable energy development, albeit with limited progress. However, interest in renewables is growing among private and public sector agencies amid rising power generation costs and subsidy burden. Utility-scale projects are coming online too. Building on this momentum, the four points proposed here could be incorporated in the budget and would help Bangladesh transition more quickly to a clean and cheaper power generation system with enhanced energy security.

The Guardian: Best&Less accused of putting profit before Bangladesh workers by failing to sign safety accord

  • Company says its own code of conduct goes further than the global accord prompted by the Rana Plaza disaster 10 years ago

  • Major clothing retailer Best&Less has been accused of putting company profit ahead of the safety of Bangladeshi garment workers by declining to sign a key international accord on worker safety and labour rights.

  • The Rana Plaza disaster, 10 years ago on Monday, prompted outrage at the abysmal safety standards in the Bangladesh factories supplying major clothing brands and retailers, leading to the establishment of a cross-border agreement known as the international accord.

  • Roughly 200 brands, including Just Jeans, Kmart, Big W, The Iconic and Mosaic Brands have signed the accord, which has helped to fund nearly 56,000 inspections across 2,400 garment factories in Bangladesh. The accord has identified 170,000 health and safety issues and successfully remediated 91% of the problems.

Financial Times: Climate graphic of the week: Asia’s prolonged April heatwave concerns scientists

  • Countries across Asia suffered soaring April temperatures, prompting warnings from scientists that 2023 could set new heat records as climatic patterns change and global warming accelerates.

  • At least 13 people were reported to have died from heat stroke in Mumbai, India, while parts of Bangladesh endured power cuts as electricity demand surged in the unusual conditions. More than 100 weather stations in China recorded all-time high temperatures for April.

World Economic Forum: News in brief: More energy stories from around the world

  • Bangladesh is being forced to cut power to millions of people, as a relentless heatwave leads to a surge in demand for power. Greater use of irrigation pumps by farmers and an increase in commercial activity during Ramadan have also contributed to increased power demand, officials say.

The Japan Times: Living along a 'dead' river in Bangladesh

  • Two decades ago Nurul Islam, 70, earned his living by fishing in the Buriganga River, which flows southwest of the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka and was once its lifeline.

  • Now, with hardly any fish to be found in the “dead” river, thanks to pollution from widespread dumping of industrial and human waste, Islam now sells street food on a small cart nearby to make ends meet.

  • “Twenty years ago this river water was good. It was full of life,” said Islam, whose family has been living on the bank of the river for generations.

The Guardian: Abuses ‘still rife’: 10 years on from Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza disaster

  • Campaigners say safety has improved but brands need to do more for workers’ rights and pay as survivors recount tragedy.

  • The fight for safe conditions and fair pay in Bangladesh has not yet been won, campaigners are warning on the 10th anniversary of the deadliest disaster in the garment industry’s history.

  • On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and at least another 2,000 injured in the collapse of a factory building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where clothing was being made for international brands including Primark, Bonmarché and Canada’s Loblaw.

CNN: 10 years after Rana Plaza, is Bangladesh's garment industry any safer?

  • Monday marks 10 years since history's deadliest garment factory disaster. More than 1,100 people, mostly women, were killed. Over 2,500 others were injured. While businesses in the building's lower floors had immediately closed when structural cracks were discovered a day earlier, thousands of factory workers were forced — either directly by their superiors, or indirectly by the pressure to earn a day's wage — to return on the day of the collapse, despite many of them raising concerns.

  • The International Labor Organization reported that, between Rana Plaza's collapse and 2018, at least 35 further accidents in clothing factories had resulted in 27 deaths. Among them was a boiler explosion that killed 10 in 2017. (The Accord's inspection process was expanded to include boiler monitoring shortly after).

  • To date, however, over 30,000 factory inspections have taken place under the agreement, with over 400 facilities completing what organizers call "initial remediation." In 2021, the New York Times reported almost 200 factories with poor safety standards had lost contracts following Accord investigations.

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