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UN urges developed countries to fulfill their ODA commitments

The United Nations General Assembly has urged the developed countries to fulfil their commitments to Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The UNGA has adopted the resolution at a follow-up meeting to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the LDCs held at the UN Headquarters recently.

The Fourth UN Conference on LDCs was held in Istanbul from 9-13 May 2011 where the member countries adopted a Program of Action for the LDCs for the decade 2011-2020. The overreaching goal of the Istanbul Program of Action is to overcome the structural challenges faced by the LDCs to eradicate poverty, achieve internationally agreed development goals and enable half of the 48 LDCs to graduate out of this category by 2020.

The UNGA underlined that the importance of the fulfillment of all ODA commitments to the developed countries was crucial to the development of LDCs.

The developed countries are committed to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income (GNI) for ODI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 percent of GNI to the LDCs by 2015. However, most of them are lagged far behind the target.

The follow-up meeting, however, took a note that the bilateral net ODI to LDCs had increased by 12.3 percent in 2013 on the backdrop of a decrease of 9.4 percent in 2012.

Despite a LDC, Bangladesh has been maintaining tremendous progress to graduate out of LDC in its all the three criteria including GNI per capita, the human asset index and the economic vulnerability index. The per capita income has increased to $1,200 from $630 in 2008 closing to the graduation threshold at $1,242. The rate of poverty has reduced to 24 percent from 40 percent in 2005.

The country has achieved gender parity in the education up to secondary level. Under-5 mortality rate has been reduced to 34 per thousand live births from 65 in 2008 and self-sufficiency in food has been achieved. It has achieved a safe water supply and sanitary facilities for almost cent percent of the population.

The meeting expressed its concern that the LDCs are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and were already experiencing its increased impacts including extreme weather events, sea-level rise and coastal erosion. It would further threaten food security and efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development.

Bangladesh, however, has developed climate-sensitive varieties of various crops including rice. A massive coastal afforestation has been in progress to reduce the severity of erosion and fixing underground carbon. Disaster warning and management practices have been geared up by using IC. Physical infrastructure including construction of school-cum-cyclone shelters across the coastal areas has been developed.

The UNGA also urged the donor countries to give high priority to the LDCs in terms of their allocation of ODA, taking into account their needs, complex challenges and the resources gap.

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