Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a specialized UN Agency based in Rome, highly lauded Bangladesh for its significant implementation capacity while noting that the country is currently the largest portfolio of IFAD globally and one of the best performing portfolios with Best Practices in a number of areas. He shared his deep appreciation today (05 July 2021) during the ceremony which marked the presentation of Credentials by Mr. Md. Shameem Ahsan, Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy, accrediting him as the Permanent Representative to IFAD. The event was held in a very cordial atmosphere at the IFAD Headquarter in Rome while maintaining relevant health codes.
Ambassador and PR Ahsan thanked IFAD President for receiving the credentials and also expressed deep appreciation as Bangladesh and IFAD enjoy a very special relationship for more than 40 years being IFAD’s one of the first partner countries. The Ambassador congratulated the IFAD President for his reappointment as the sixth President of IFAD and underscored the importance of his reappointment to keep continuing his great works in the development of rural areas and marginalized people around the globe. He highlighted the dynamic leadership of IFAD President to attain the record level of commitment of US$ 1.55 billion for IFAD 12 despite the COVID situation. The developing countries will now receive loans and grants of around US$ 3.8 billion during 2022-24 replenishment cycles.
Bangladesh, considering its impressive utilization capacity of resources, apart from receiving development assistance from the core contribution, can easily access newly created funds like borrowed resources, climate fund, and private sector window with less concessional terms based on demand. This absorptive capacity of Bangladesh is a glaring example to other many developing countries in the world, the President noted with deep appreciation. Bangladesh is one of the very few countries which receive highest development assistance with significant project implementation capacity along with the active representation in the Executive Board and Governance Structure of IFAD-Mr. Gilbert added.
While highlighting the “development journey” of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Ambassador briefed him about the outstanding performance of Bangladesh in the agriculture sector which received global recognition. Right after the independence, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman prioritized agricultural production with utmost importance thus establishing the rights of the marginalized people-he continued. Ambassador Ahsan apprised IFAD President that Bangladesh attained food self-sufficiency under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh encouraged IFAD to maintain close consultations with the relevant Ministries and other stake-holders of the Government of Bangladesh to familiarize with the technical and other aspects in respect of loans from different windows of IFAD in view of the new financing terms and conditions. He also opined in identifying the requirements based on 8th Five Year Plan and other sectoral priorities of Bangladesh like vulnerability to climate change, increased need for allocation of resources for adaptation and mitigation to address climate change, among others. The Permanent Representative also drew attention about necessary support from IFAD to meet the particular challenges in agriculture and food security after graduation from the LDC status.
Mr. Manash Mitra, Economic Counsellor and Alternate Permanent Representative to IFAD was present while the IFAD President was accompanied by senior professionals of the IFAD.