Diaspora-driven development: how to turn wealth to health in Bangladesh

From Global development | The Guardian Tue Feb 5 2013, 06:00:01

Policymakers need to understand the diaspora and incentivise its involvement in the country's development

Sylhet division in north-east Bangladesh, where around 95% of all British-Bengalis trace their origin to, should in theory be the wealthiest and healthiest part of country. The region receives around US $1bn in remittances every year from expatriate Bengalis in the UK alone.

However, wealth hasn't translated to health in Sylhet. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Sylhet has worse literacy and school enrolment rates than all other regions, child malnutrition rates are well over the WHO emergency threshold of 15%, fertility rates are the highest in the country and expectant mothers are more likely to die during child birth in Sylhet than any other part of Bangladesh.

"While remittances play a significant role in Bangladesh's development, most of it is transferred to individual households rather than to charity or community development," ex-Bangladesh foreign minister Farooq Sobhan explains. "Amongst key concerns are issues of corruption and red tape, the political schism between the Awami League and the Bangladesh National Party, and resulting instability, insecurity and a feeling of not knowing how to help," said Sobhan, who currently heads the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, a research and advocacy organisation that focuses on the growth of private enterprise in Bangladesh.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Nigeria:   Change Agenda Will Succeed – Senate President Saraki (interview)
allAfrica.com
29 July 2015

Nigeria's National Assembly (NAAS), which has been roiled by controversy over the selection of its leadership, resumed work this week with members saying they were ready to deliver the change for ... [read more]

Africa:   Can We Save Forests and Produce Palm Oil? Scientists Seek Answer (news)
Thomson Reuters Foundation
29 July 2015

Despite promises by many big companies that produce, trade and use palm oil to clean up their supply chains, complaints are still pouring in over the conversion of forests into plantations from West ... [read more]

Tanzania:   Free SMS Campaign Helps Pregnant Women, New Mothers (news)
Thomson Reuters Foundation
29 July 2015

When Halima Rahim became a mother for the first time, friends and acquaintances in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar Es Salaam, were quick to offer advice and help. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!


Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...