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Bangladesh for 'data revolution' in UN for COVID response, recovery

Published : Wednesday, 15 July, 2020 at 4:00 PM  Count : 272

Bangladesh for 'data revolution' in UN for COVID response, recovery

Bangladesh for 'data revolution' in UN for COVID response, recovery

Speakers at a panel discussion organized by Bangladesh Permanent Mission in the United Nations (UN) stressed the need for a ‘data revolution’ for curbing health emergency and protecting jobs in COVID-19 response and recovery.

They said evidence-based data is a critical enabler not only for responding to the health emergency posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for ensuring access to routine health services and social protection for the poorest and most vulnerable, as well as supporting jobs for the locals and the returnee migrant workers, reports BSS.

Bangladesh Permanent Mission in the UN organized the virtual discussion titled “Accelerating Post COVID Recovery Using Data Revolution” in collaboration with Bangladesh foreign ministry and government’s A2i programme, Somalian government, UN agencies and Future of Work Lab on Monday, according to a message received here today.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and ICT Division Senior Secretary N M Zeaul Alam spoke at the meeting while Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Rabab Fatima chaired the discussion.

Momen said Bangladesh, like many other migrant sending countries, is now facing the challenge of returning expatriate workers as the economy is badly hit in many migrant host countries due to the pandemic, specially dwindling of oil prices.

“By collecting, processing, and using this data of these returnees, we can appropriately re-skill them, and also can help reintegrate them in a sustainable manner,” he said.

Alam stressed the need for establishing a “common data sharing platform” at local and global levels to inform all relevant stakeholders necessary understanding in their efforts towards accelerating post COVID recovery and assessing its impact on social, economic and other aspects, as well as achieving SDGs.

“As we are fighting the pandemic, the importance of scientific evidence has become more significant than ever, so has been the collection and analysis of data – not only for being informed of what’s happening, but very importantly to suggest evidence-based response and timely actions for recovery,” Ambassador Fatima said.

A2i policy advisor Anir Chowdhury delivered the keynote speech where he shared some good practices in utilizing data for tackling the COVID-19 in Bangladesh like identification of possible hot zones of COVID-19 infections, provision of tele-health services, creation of a database of more than 5 million people who are in need for cash transfer and designing post-COVID skills and employment response.

Among other speakers, Regional Coordinator (Asia and Pacific), UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Dr. Denis Nkala shared how his office was playing the important role in supporting the efforts of the developing South in the response and recovery phase of the crisis.

Somalian government representative Abdirahim Muudey, Professor Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak of Yale University, Robert Opp of UNDP, Vincenzo Aquaro of UNDESA, Gemma Van Halderen of UNESCAP, Niall O’ higgins of ILO, Paul Meyer of The Commons Project and Caroline Buckee of Harvard Public Health School joined at the panel discussion.


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