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ADB's long-term strategy slammed for anti-poor bias


By voice - Posted on 20 June 2008

Rights activists want
collective stand against ADB's role

[Staff Correspondent, http://www.newagebd.com/2008/jun/20/nat.html,
20 June 2008]

Development activists and
rights campaigners strongly criticised the Long Term Strategic Framework for
2008-2020 of Asian Development Bank for its anti-poor stand showing blanket
bias toward private sector-led development, says a press release.

They were speaking at a
discussion sponsored by Voice, a research organisation, at the SUPRO conference
room in
Dhaka Thursday.

The private sector
domination in the development process would concentrate on their own profit
leaving behind the agenda of poverty reduction, which would ultimately worsen
the poverty situation, they warned.

 

 

The bank believes that
the growth-based development facilitates poverty reduction, which has failed to
deliver in most countries including
Bangladesh,
they pointed out. Market-led economic growth, pursued by lending agencies,
aggravated poverty situation rather than reducing it in many countries of
Asia and the Pacific, they added.

The ADB's Long Term
Strategic Framework suggests expanding bank's activities and increasing
resources as of 50 per cent by 2020 with the private sector which is now only
12 per cent at present.

The rights activists
urged the people to take a collective stand against ADB's role in the country.

They said though poverty
remains the overarching objective of the bank and its long-term strategy also
recognises it as a major challenge, bank's activities already raised huge
criticism for their anti-poor stand and disregards to its own policies and
commitment.

Private sector's involvement in environmental projects has
already proved in vain and caused dangerous consequences on environment and
communities, they cited.

'We can not simply sell
everything to corporations, but ADB, through its long-term strategy, is urging
corporations to establish their economic and political hegemony over people's
life,' said Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of Voice.

Interactions executive
director Sirajuddahar, SUPRO chief executive Prodip Kumar Roy, trade union
leader Subal Sarkar, farmers' leader Zayeed Iqbal, Unnayan Unneshan researcher
Faisal Kabir, Mahbub Hossain from CDP, APIT coordinator Raihan Sharif, director
of In Search of Light Sajjad Ansari and director of Pave, Bogra KGM Faruk spoke
on the occasion.