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Bangladesh activating D8 Health- Social Protection Programme to Fight COVID-19

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Bangladesh has taken a lead to organize a meeting among the D-8 nations in keeping  with prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive to engage at regional and global platforms for exploring collective solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

As per Bangladesh’s initiatives, the D-8 Health and Social Protection Programme (D-8 HSP), based in Abuja Nigeria, has decided to hold a virtual working meeting of the D-8 HSP focal persons on 16 April, a foreign ministry press release has said.
Earlier, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen wrote a letter to his Turkish counterpart, as Ankara is the current chair of D-8 to explore options how the D-8 member states activate and utilize the D-8 HSP window to support each other during this crisis.

At the meeting, the D-8 nations – Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey – are likely to agree on a research methodology to measure the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, said the release.

Realizing the need for cooperation and solidarity of this economic-bloc of geographically dispersed eight countries to fight this pandemic, the meeting of the focal persons is expected to come up with mechanisms to lessen the hardship through sharing best practices and resources.

   In his letter the Foreign Minister Dr. Momen also proposed to postpone the D8 Summit, which was scheduled to take place in Bangladesh end of May 2020. 
instead, Momen proposed that Bangladesh and Turkey can take joint/collaborative initiatives, engaging the D8 Secretariat and other appropriate entities like UNCTAD/UNIDO, to explore ways and means for concerted efforts to restore confidence and devise strategies regarding potential negative consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on overall economy, growth and jobs of the respective member countries.   

D-8 Health and Social Protection Programme (D-8 HSP), based in Abuja Nigeria, has convened a virtual working meeting of the focal persons of the D-8 HSP on 16 April 2020.
 Realizing the need for cooperation and solidarity of this economic-bloc of geographically dispersed eight countries to fight this pandemic – the meeting of the focal person is expected to come up with mechanisms to lessen the hardship through sharing best practices and resources. It is also anticipated that the meeting will also find means to share number of developed and home-grown health innovation ecosystems and exchanges within or between D-8 countries. The D-8 nations may also agree on a research methodology to measure the health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Earlier, in line with Prime Minister’s directive to engage at regional and global platforms to explore collective solutions on the Covid-19 crisis, Bangladesh took the lead to organize such a meeting of D8 HSP.  Foreign Minister Dr. A. K.Abdul Momen wrote a letter on this issue to his Turkish counterpart, (as Turkey is the current Chair of D-8), to explore options how we could activate/utilize the D-8 HSP window to support each other during this crisis. It may be noted that D8 HSP became functional October 2020. Bangladesh Delegation will be led by officials from the DG Health Services and allied institutions who are part of the Covid-19 response team. The D8 HSP Virtual Meeting will be supported by Global Health experts from observer and partner organisations like Chatham House, World Health Organization, ILO, IsDB, Global Women Leaders in Health and CHESTRAD International.

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