BANGLADESH: Bangladesh Wins UNDP Award with Poverty Reduction Story

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The Daily Star
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

Bangladesh has won second place in an annual United Nations Development Programme competition, with a story that highlights the success of the country's poverty alleviation efforts.

The story had a specific focus on the contributions that destitute women made in the economic sphere, said a press release of the UNDP Dhaka office issued on Wednesday.

Abdul Momen, Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, received the award from UNDP Administrator Helen Clark on January 28, the press release added.

Sixty-six countries submitted more than 120 stories to the competition, with the Asia Pacific region winning two of the top three awards.

The 12-member jury that selected the winners in the storytelling competition included international development and political journalists, in addition to representatives from the Canadian and Australian Permanent Missions to the UN.

Bangladesh's submission highlights the struggles and triumphs of Shyamola Begum of Korail slum in Dhaka, as she found her feet after being abandoned by her husband with two children to feed.

With the help of an entrepreneur grant from UNDP's urban poverty project, Shyamola set up a tea-stall that provided a consistent source of income, which has lifted the entire family out of poverty.

The Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction project, funded by UKAID, has benefited more than 3 million people across 29 urban centres in Bangladesh.

“These stories highlight UNDP's critical work on poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, and the environment and sustainable development,” said UNDP chief Helen Clark in a statement.

“They remind us that people are and always will be the centre of UNDP's work,” she added.

Mahtab Haider, communications analyst, and Nader Rahman, communications associate, of UNDP Bangladesh chapter co-wrote the story.