04 February 2010: Today Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), an alliance of rights based organizations, called the government to establish country’s sovereign authority on the management of Multi Donor Trust Fund ( MDTF) which is going to be operationalized soon for the climate change adaptation in Bangladesh. EquityBD made this call through organizing a press conference in Dhaka Reporter’s Unity today.
In this press conference, EquityBD claimed that since the establishment of MDTF in September 2008, the major contributors to this fund, the UK government, has been creating pressure to the government to channel this fund through the World Bank. DfID is insisting, against the wishes of the NGO/CSOs in Bangladesh, that the World Bank manages the trust fund. We should not allow the Bank to manage the fund in Bangladesh because the Bank has a long history of imposing economic conditions on developing countries, fuelling unjust debts and promoting dirty development. In contrast, there are examples of funds being managed in Bangladesh in democratic and transparent ways, with active participation by civil society, said the speakers.
In a written press statement, secretary general of EquityBD, Md Shmasuddoha, claimed that channeling climate funds through the WB is a trickery of the British government to weaken the negotiating point under the UNFCCC, where the developing country Parties are opposing involvement of any IFIs in the management of climate finance.
The speakers in the press conference said that contribution of the rich nations in climate financing should be additional to the already committed development aid to the developing countries. It has been clearly stated in many policy documents and also discussed in many multi-lateral dialogue that climate financing mechanism should be developed and provided by the developed countries in addition to their existing ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) commitment of 0.7% of their GNI, as compensation for their historical responsibility of the developed counties in being the main drivers of current global climate change. However, the contribution of the UK government to the MDTF is from the existing aid budgets, which is unexpected and injustice to the most climate victim country, Bangladesh. In a broad call for climate justice, this NGO alliance agued to put forward ‘polluter pay and polluter pay principle’ in relation to climate change financing.
Among others, Mustafa Kamal Akanda, Sanat Kumar Bhowmik and Dr Sohel Iqbal of EquityBD were present in the press conference.