Bangladesh to allocate $100 mln in next budget to combat climate change

Bangladesh’s Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Thursday proposed a seven billion taka (about 100 million U.S. dollars) allocation in next fiscal’s budget to fight the impacts of climate change.

When announcing the country’s proposed national budget for next fiscal year (July 2010-June 2011) at the parliament on Thursday, Muhith said climate change and environment were the extremely important issues of concern for the existence of the large population of the South Asian country.

He said, “We are working persistently to reduce the adverse effects of climate change and environmental disasters.”

“Considering the need to mitigate the effects of disasters and natural calamities due to climate change and to rehabilitate the dislocated people, we allocated seven billion taka in the previous budget.

In the next year’s budget, I also propose to allocate seven billion taka for this purpose,” the minister said.

The Bangladeshi government in 2008, for the first time in its budget, allocated three billion taka (about 43 million U.S. dollars) to set up a climate change fund to mitigate any disasters. Muhith said a fund titled “Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund” (BCCRF) has been created with an amount of 110 million U.S. dollars and the Cabinet has approved a policy titled “Climate Change Trust Fund Policy” as part of an integrated plan to face disasters due to climate change.

He said the main focus of the government activities will be carrying out regular dredging of rivers and canals, strengthening embankments and establishing adequate number of cyclone shelters in coastal areas, reducing the level of air pollution arising from fossil fuel used in vehicles, controlling environmental pollution due to industrialization, protecting bio-diversity, expanding afforestation as well as preserving the limited forest lands of Bangladesh and producing sufficient number of environmental experts.

Bangladesh was hit by two consecutive floods and super cyclone Sidr in 2007 which claimed thousands of people’s lives, and cyclone Aila in 2009 left 179 people dead and 3 million affected.

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