Eastern Times, Special Correspondent, Dhaka, 6 November: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday urged world leaders to formulate a well-coordinated roadmap to face the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has created a multifaceted global problem and it should be addressed globally. We need a well-coordinated roadmap to face this crisis,” she said while virtually inaugurating the 14th international conference of the Finance Ministers of ASEM member countries.
Bangladesh hosted the meeting virtually which the Prime Minister opened by delivering a pre-recorded video message.
The theme of the 14th ASEM Finance Ministers Meeting is “Addressing Covid-19: Ensuring a Strong, Sustainable, Inclusive and Balanced Recovery”.
Sheikh Hasina expressed her optimism that the world is going to get effective vaccines against Covid-19 soon. She has called for making the vaccines available at free of costs for all countries.
“We’re hoping that the world is going to get effective vaccines soon. They must be made available for all countries, especially the LDCs and developing ones, at free of cost. The rich countries and, the MDBs and IFIs should come forward with generous support in this regard,” she said.
The Prime Minister urged the rich countries, Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to come forward.
Emphasising greater collaboration to conquer any hurdle on the path to prosperity during this difficult time, she said that collaboration, not isolation, can help overcome any crisis.
The advanced economies must fulfill their unmet promises concerning duty-free and quota-free market access, and technology support for developing countries, the Prime Minister said.
Urging the G-7, G-20, OECD countries, MDB and IFIs to play their vital roles to bail out the affected LDCs and developing nations, she said, “They’ll have to come forward with increasing fiscal stimulus, concessional finance, and debt relief measures.”
The Prime Minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on the health systems and the economies of all countries.
She said the least developed and developing countries, in particular, are the worst-hit by the pandemic and a vast majority of the people is suffering from the loss of income and employment.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that poverty is worsening and the health sector is facing serious challenges, while progress in achieving SDGs and hard-earned prosperity of most countries are at stake.