The head of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has lauded Bangladesh for its significant projects implementation capacity.
According to Gilbert F Houngbo, President of IFAD, Bangladesh is currently the largest portfolio of the Rome-based specialised UN agency and also one of the best performing portfolios with best practices in a number of areas.
Gilbert shared his deep appreciation for the South Asian nation while receiving the credentials of Md Shameem Ahsan, Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy, at a ceremony in Rome on Monday, accrediting him as the Permanent Representative to IFAD.
Ambassador Ahsan thanked the IFAD President for receiving his credentials and also expressed deep appreciation as Bangladesh and the UN agency enjoy "a very special relationship for more than 40 years being IFAD's one of the first partner countries".
He also congratulated Gilbert for his reappointment as the sixth President of IFAD and underscored the importance of his reappointment to keep continuing his great work in the development of rural areas and marginalised people around the globe.
Ambassador Ahsan highlighted the dynamic leadership of the IFAD President to attain the record level of commitment of US$ 1.55 billion for the UN agency despite the Covid situation.
The developing countries will now receive loans and grants of around US$ 3.8 billion during the 2022-24 replenishment cycles.
Bangladesh, considering its impressive utilisation capacity of resources, apart from receiving development assistance from the core contribution, can easily access newly created funds like borrowed resources, climate fund, and private sector window with less concessional terms based on demand.
This absorptive capacity of Bangladesh is a glaring example to other many developing countries in the world, the President noted.
Bangladesh is one of the very few countries which receive highest development assistance with significant project implementation capacity, along with the active representation in the Executive Board and Governance Structure of IFAD, Gilbert added.
While highlighting the "development journey" of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Ambassador briefed him about the outstanding performance of Bangladesh in the agriculture sector which received global recognition.
"Right after the independence, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman prioritised agricultural production with utmost importance thus establishing the rights of the marginalised people," he continued.
Ambassador Ahsan also told the IFAD President that Bangladesh attained food self-sufficiency under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He encouraged IFAD to maintain close consultations with the relevant Ministries and other stake-holders of the government of Bangladesh to familiarise with the technical and other aspects in respect of loans from different windows of IFAD in view of the new financing terms and conditions.
He also spoke of the need for identifying the requirements based on 8th Five-Year Plan and other sectoral priorities of Bangladesh like vulnerability to climate change, increased need for allocation of resources for adaptation and mitigation to address climate change, among others.
The Permanent Representative also drew attention about necessary support from IFAD to meet the particular challenges in agriculture and food security after graduation from the LDC status.
Manash Mitra, Economic Counsellor and Alternate Permanent Representative to IFAD, was present, while the IFAD President was accompanied by senior professionals of the agency.