With a population exceeding 164 million people, Bangladesh has faced numerous barriers to eradicating poverty and fostering tdevelopment. However, Bangladesh’s declining population growth rate and improvements in health and education have been fundamental in eliminating poverty throughout the country. These progressions have shown promising results and offer the prospect of long-term prosperity in regards to ending poverty in Bangladesh.
At the Asian Development Bank’s 50th Annual Meeting in Yokohama, Japan, Bangladeshi finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith stated that poverty in Bangladesh will be fully eradicated by 2024. In order to achieve this goal, he stresses that the continual growth of employment and labor productivity must be maintained throughout Bangladesh’s development. In accomplishing this goal, he predicts that only about seven to eight percent of the population will be left under governmental assistance, including those with disabilities, the mentally challenged and the elderly.
A major barrier in this process is the demand for foreign investment which is necessary for Bangladesh’s economic development. Muhith hopes that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other organizations will fund Bangladesh’s financial endeavors. The ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy aims to provide up to $8 billion between 2016 to 2020 that will fund the development of infrastructure, strengthen rural livelihoods and provide the capital to boost regional trade.
Formerly known as one of the poorest countries in the world, Bangladesh has developed into a lower middle-income country through the implementation of modern factories and technology. In two decades, these economic progressions have allowed 20 million people to successfully lift themselves out of poverty, cutting the poverty rate from 44.2 percent in 1991 to 18.5 percent in 2010. The World Bank Group has funded almost $24 billion toward poverty-reduction efforts and initiatives that have helped grow and develop Bangladesh.
“Poverty is removable if you are sincere, if you have a multi-pronged attack on poverty and you have the commitment,” Muhith stated in an interview. “Commitment is the most important thing — commitment to the elimination of poverty.”
In regards to the economic progressions of Bangladesh, Muhith has high hopes for the future. These massive economic improvements demonstrate the promising results of Bangladesh’s poverty reduction efforts and the importance of foreign investments, both of which are crucial in reaching the long-term sustainability goals of Bangladesh.
– Brandon Johnson