High Commissioner hails State – Civil society partnership in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Mijarul Quayes has lauded Oxfam's support during Bangladesh's War of Liberation.

The international humanitarian organization was in fact awarded the Friends of the Liberation War Honour for this role.

Mr Quayes made the remarks during an evening reception he recently hosted at the Royal Overseas League in London.

The event highlighted the partnership between the state and civil society for lasting change in Bangladesh.

The event, organised in partnership with BRAC and Oxfam, was attended by parliamentarians, diplomats, civil society representatives and members of the Bangladeshi diaspora.

The High Commissioner said Oxfam also played an important role in the post-war reconstruction in Bangladesh.

BRAC, an organisation founded in Bangladesh, are pioneers in recognising and tackling the many different realities of poverty. Using microfinance as a platform, BRAC provide integrated services in education, agriculture and food security, health and nutrition, social and economic empowerment, human rights and legal aid.

Oxfam works to help people affected by disasters, as well as helping to ensure people living in poverty have the means to make a living. They have also pushed for women’s rights and have supported ethnic minority groups.

High Commissioner Quayes mentioned that although born in Bangladesh, BRAC is today an international NGO, and is engaged in changing the lives of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also around the world.

Speaking on the occasion BRAC UK's Chief Executive Mary Garvey said: "Whilst huge challenges remain in areas such as child health and women’s empowerment Bangladesh has made amazing progress, supported by organisations such as Oxfam and BRAC. The lessons learnt in Bangladesh have the potential to make huge differences in other communities across the world."

Mark Goldring, Oxfam Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted to be recognising the hard work of staff of Oxfam and BRAC in Bangladesh, who are helping to make a real difference to people's lives.

“But the work cannot stop now – there is still so much more that needs to be done. Bangladesh’s 580 km coastline is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world and with climate change increasing the threat of storms and flooding, we need to ensure that people are prepared for disasters in the most effective way possible.”

Prof Naila Kabir of The London School of Economics also spoke on the occasion.

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