Europeaon Union Position on MDTF is Neo Colonial

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Dhaka, 15 March February 2010. Today, an alliance of twenty rights organizations, led by EquityBD, criticized a recent statement of the Ambassador of the European Union, Mr. Stefan, while he suggested the World Bank to manage the country’s Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) on a temporary basis. The alliance also condemned the EU for imposing conditionality to include the WB in the management of MDTF. They termed EU position on MDTF as neo-colonial as they have been consistently pushing Bangladesh to accept World Bank to manage the multi donor trust fund. The rights organizations expressed such views through organizing human chain and rally in front of the National Press Club. Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD moderated the rally while, among others, Prodip K Roy, Feroze Ahmed, Shipra Das, Tusar Ahmed, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Md. Shamsuddoha and Sahadat Islam Chowdhury sopke.

The organizations of the rights groups include; Arpon, AMKS, Eso, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, CSRL, EquityBD, Kishani Shova, Lead Trust, On line knowledge center, Potikrit, La via campesina, MFTD, Prantik, Purbasha, RCASV, Swadin Bangla Garments Sromik Federation, Solidarity Workshop, Sirajgonj Flood Forum, Uddipan and EquityBD

Prodip K Roy of Online Knowledge Center mentioned that statement from the EU Ambassador and State Minister for Environment and Forest on the management of MDTF is contradictory, while Minister mentioned the government of Bangladesh will have sole authority over the fund.

Feorze Ahmed of Lead Trust mentioned that, two third of the World Bank projects still on fossil fuel projects, which are causing carbon emission. Moreover most of the World Bank project in Bangladesh is failed project, so the WB should not be involved with any projects anymore. Shipra Das of Kishani Shova mentioned that, EU and other developed countries are the major carbon polluter they must compensate first and they should not put any condition in this context. Tusar Rehman of Citizen Rights Movement mentioned that, government must maintain sovereignty in climate fund and such a fund should be channeled through independent foundation.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD mentioned that, until unless government will not finalize the management modalities of MDTF the movement will continue. Md. Shasuddoha of EquityBD mentioned that while there are best country examples of managing donor fund through independent foundation then why we should hand over our sovereign ownership on fund management to the WB and, why we should pay fees to the Bank. Sahadat Islam Chowdhury of Pradip concluded the rally, and thanked to the participating organization.

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