Business & Finance News

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Compiled by SDNP

Head Lines

ADB to implement eastern by pass plan

The Bangladesh Observer

Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed its willingness to implement Dhaka Eastern Bypass embankment-cum-highway project to protect capital Dhaka from flood onslaughts, reports UNB.

The visiting members of ADB Board of Directors, led by its team leader Jusuf Anwar, gave the indication at a meeting with Communications Minister Barrister Nazmul Huda at his ministry on Thursday.

The ADB members voiced their concern over the present devastating flood in Bangladesh and discussed with the minister the post-flood rehabilitation programmes and future assistance for road and railway sectors.

Mentioning the damage caused by the prolonged flooding in the communication sector, Nazmul Huda sought unconditional support from ADB in the post-flood rehabilitation programme, as huge assistance would be needed to fully restore the communication network after the flood.

Nazmul Huda also urged for a greater ADB role in giving financial assistance for the construction of the Padma Bridge on completion of the feasibility survey in March 2005.

The ADB officials assured of its assistance in the post-flood rehabilitation and restructuring programmes in the communication sector.

The ADB Board of Directors members also included Stephen Sedgwick, Masaichiro Yamanishi and M Akram Malik and Shaolin Yang.

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UN agencies rushing in aid

The Bangladesh Observer

The United Nations  said its agencies are rushing in aid ranging from essential medicines to food to water- purification tablets for the flood-affected people in Bangladesh, reports UNB.

A new Operations Coordination Room has been set up to consolidate all assessments on the ground in Bangladesh under the Disaster and Emergency Response area of the south Asian country’s Local Consultative Group, which includes such bodies as the UN and the World Bank.

“Nearly a million people have been forced to move into shelters and the situation is still worsening in the capital, Dhaka, where water from several river basins is continuing to flow in,” the UN News Centre said.

Some 2 million acres of crops have also been damaged or destroyed in Bangladesh, it said on the basis of initial estimate.

UN agencies involved in aid operations include the World Health Organization (WHO), which is providing essential drugs and medical supplies and the World Food Programme (WFP), which, with its partners, has been distributing high-energy biscuits, rice and polypropylene bags.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pledged a further $100,000 for nutrition, sanitation, health and water-related needs and also donated water-purification tablets, temporary sanitary facilities and food for young children.

“The forecast for the country of 124 million people remains one of prolonged flooding, with possible recurrences towards the end of August,” says the UN News Centre.

The government continued to welcome any international assistance provided by the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

Flooding has also hit the neighbouring Indian state of Assam, affecting nearly 10,500 villages with a total population of more than 12 million people, killing more than 180 and renderinc millions homeless, it said.

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President, PM greet Swiss President

The Bangladesh Observer

President Professor Iajuddin Ahmed today felicitated President of Swiss Confederation Joseph Deiss on the occasion of the National Day of Switzerland which falls on August 1, reports BSS.

President Iajuddin in a message said," I am confident that the bonds of friendship and mutual cooperation that exist between our two countries will further develop in the years ahead."

Professor Iajuddin wished good health, happiness and long life of the Swiss President and continued peace, progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Switzerland.

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia today felicitated President of Swiss Confederation Joseph Deiss on the occasion of the National Day of Switzerland which falls on August 1.

"The government and the people of Bangladesh join me in extending to you our sincere greetings and felicitations on the happy occasion of the National Day of the Swiss Confederation," Begum Zia said in a message.

"I take this opportunity to express my sincere hope that the close and friendly relations that already exist between our two countries will be further strengthened in the years to come," she said.

The Prime Minister wished good health, happiness and long life of the Swiss President and continued peace, progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Swiss Confederation.

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Swiss-Bangladesh fine arts show begins in city

The Bangladesh Observer

A 12-day exhibition on fine arts and handicrafts of Bangladesh and Switzerland began at Jatiya Jadughar on Friday, reports BSS.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs Begum Selima Rahman inaugurated the exhibition jointly organized by Swiss Embassy in Dhaka and Jatiya Jadughar.

Charge d' Affaires of Switzerland in Dhaka Guerg Casserini and Director General of Jatiya Jadughar Prof. Mahmudul Haque also spoke on the occasion. Selima Rahman said fine arts and handicrafts speak of civilization and cultural heritage of a nation.

Referring to the rich heritage of Bangladeshi artworks and handicrafts, she said people of Bangladesh would be able to know about Swiss fine arts through the exhibition. It would also play important role in further cementing the friendly relations between the two countries, she added.

Around 200 works have been out in the display, which would remain open from 10 am to 5pm till August 10 next for visitors.

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