Statement delivered by Mr. Iqbal Abdullah Harun, Minister, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN at the Annual Session of the UNICEF Executive Board on 29 June 2020

Madam President

  • Like elsewhere, large number of children in Bangladesh are likely to face the severe impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Now our children are out of school and most of them are likely to remain so as learning in a digital platform is more challenging due to poor internet connectivity, limited hardware and insufficient skilled teachers;
  • Children remain vulnerable to abuse and exploitation while girls, children in poverty, migrants and displaced children, children without parents, and differently challenged children are likely to be worse off.
  • UNICEF estimate shows that over half a million children may die in South Asia over the next six months if countries do not take immediate and appropriate actions. Children living in densely populated areas of Bangladesh are already at higher risk of COVID contamination. They are susceptible to other diseases such as measles, pneumonia, diphtheria and polio that are preventable by routine immunization.
  •  Although all our immunization centers are open, only half of the target could be vaccinated due to limited accessibility to the children in lockdown. In active partnership with UNICEF, GAVI and others, Government plans to accelerate its routine immunization programmes to reach the targeted number.
    Madam President
  • Bangladesh is committed to giving children a better life and is prioritizing essential programmes for their education, food, water, shelter, sanitation, health care, andsocial protection. Measures to provide support for family members and caregivers are incorporated in our COVID response and recovery plans.
  • Support from UNICEF and other partners to our Government’s investment will ensure success of our programs for children
  • I thank you Madam President for your excellent leadership