Bangladesh plans fund to combat natural disastersApril 17th, 2008 - 2:48 pm ICT by admin
Dhaka, April 17(IANS) Disaster-prone Bangladesh plans to create a management fund in its next budget in June to fight the fallout of natural hazards like floods and cyclones that took thousands of lives, destroyed crops and severely hit its economy last year. The interim government of Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed informed Wednesday that it would propose a Taka 10 billion (around $166 million) fund to prepare for natural calamities that visit the country practically every year.
Finance Advisor A.B. Mirza Azizul Islam told the Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) that the fund would also help boost the country’s economy.
“The government is already thinking about such a fund and has started working on it,” Islam was quoted as saying in The Daily Star Thursday.
Finance secretary Mohammad Tareque said a modest allocation and utilisation of the fund would begin in the next budget.
Bangladesh is still recovering from a severe rice shortage by importing 500,000 tonnes of the commodity from India even as the crop of its boro rice variety arrives in the market this month.
The intervening period has witnessed abnormal price rise of the staple food.
Floods, landslides and Cyclone Sidr, which hit southern Bangladesh in November last, uprooted a million trees and killed an estimated 3,000 people.
Besides frequent droughts, over 80 cyclones have hit Bangladesh in the last three centuries as per a study, while the country’s riverine terrain has been witnessing floods each year.
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