Bangladesh performs better than other SAARC countries: Study  

The performance of Bangladesh is better in attaining poverty target compared to other South Asian countries. It has made remarkable progress in areas of primary schooling, gender parity in primary and secondary level education.

It was disclosed in ‘SAARC Development Goals: Bangladesh Country Report 2013’ (SDGs). The General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission launched the report at the NEC Conference Room in city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city yesterday.

branding-BangladeshPlanning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal was the chief guest in the programme. Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, Prime Minister’s international affairs adviser Gowher Rizvi, state minister for finance MA Mannan, former caretaker government adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury and deputy country director of UNDP in Bangladesh Nick Beresford addressed the programme.

Shamsul Alam, a member of the GED of the Planning Commission, made a keynote presentation on the report.

According to the report, Bangladesh has been declining poverty on average at 1.74 percentage points over the last decade. The estimated figure of poverty headcount in 2013 was 26.2 per cent. The report also highlights that the Government of Bangladesh attaches importance to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for access to justice for the poor and the marginalised. The total fertility rate (children per women) in Bangladesh in 2011 was 2.2 followed by 2.3 in Sri Lanka, Bhutan (2.6) and India (2.3), it says.

The report highlights the current trends of achieving the goals and future policy interventions in attaining the set targets. It shows that Bangladesh has been convincingly moving towards achieving some goals, while some of the goals can be attained with pushed efforts. However, achievement of some goals may require more resources or time.

The report showed that regarding life expectancy at birth (years) in 2011, Sri Lanka is the star performer with 75 years followed by Bangladesh and Nepal with 69 years, Bhutan 67 years and India and Pakistan 65 years each.

In terms of infant mortality rate (per 1,000 LB) in 2011, Sri Lanka is again the best performer with 11, followed by Bangladesh (37), Nepal (39), Bhutan (42), India (47) and Pakistan 59. Regarding Under-five mortality rate (1,000 LB) in 2011, Sri Lanka continued to maintain its best position with 12 followed by Bangladesh (46), Nepal (48), Bhutan (54), India (61) and Pakistan (72).

The report also shows that Sri Lanka gained success in maternal mortality ratio (100,000 LB) in 2010 with 35 followed by Nepal (170), Bhutan (180), India (200), Bangladesh (240) and Pakistan (260).

Regarding infant immunization (Measles) in 2011, the rate is also the highest among the SA countries in Sri Lanka with 99 per cent, followed by 96 per cent in Bangladesh, 95 per cent in Bhutan, 88 per cent in Nepal and 80 per cent in Pakistan. The report also highlights that in terms of GDP per capita purchasing power parity, Bhutan is the star performer followed by Sri Lanka, while in case of access to improved sanitation, Sri Lanka is the star performer followed by Bangladesh.

Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the government aims to free the country from hunger by 2030 when Bangladesh would turn as a knowledge-based country.

-The Independent