Statement by H. E. Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, MP, Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh at the High-Level Meeting of the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative Meeting of Heads of State and Government on “Jobs and social protection for poverty eradication” on 28 September 2021 at the United Nations in New York

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Hon’ble Prime Minister of Jamaica,

Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations,


Assalamu Alaikum, peace be upon you.

Thank you for convening this meeting to build momentum for post COVID-19 economic recovery through job creation, social protection and poverty eradication.


The twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change are threatening our shared dreams of a just and equitable world, and are pushing millions of people back to poverty. That is why this meeting and its outcome are so important for us.

Distinguished participants,

For tackling the pandemic situation, our government rolled out a 22 billion-dollar stimulus package. Similarly, we have disbursed hundreds of  million of dollars to 5.8 million beneficiaries including poor, elderly, widows, disabled persons, and informal sector workers. In total, 8 million people received cash support directly through electronic money transfer from the Government.

Before the pandemic, despite many challenges, we attained steady GDP growth over 7 per cent for the last few years. Even during this pandemic, Bangladesh’s economy grew at 5.2 per cent in 2020-2021.

Due to dynamic and visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, extreme poverty in Bangladesh has declined from 41 per cent to 20.5 per cent. We are using a whole-of-government approach for poverty eradication. Wide network of Social Protection Programmes such as Employment Generation Programme for the Poorest, Food/Cash for Works Programme, Skills for Employment and Investment Programme have been developed. To lift homeless people out of poverty, the Government provided homes to 450,000 people with ownership of land during the last 3 years.


Distinguished leaders,

Recently 255 million jobs have been lost globally, and between 119 to 224 million people were pushed into poverty. The 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda can be our blueprint to overcome this crisis. I would like to propose the following:

First, the developed countries and IFIs have to scale up fiscal stimulus and concessional finance, especially to help vulnerable economies.

Second, Concessionary finance should be provided for skills training, retraining, education, vocational and digital technology and entrepreneurship with a view to create opportunities for gainful employment.

Third, we need to divert more private finance and investment to the developing countries, and leverage science, technology, and innovation for closing the digital divide.

Finally, international support measures, including duty-free market access, should continue for LDCs as well as for the graduating LDCs to prevent any possible slide back due to the pandemic.

I thank you all.