Dhaka, 13 April 2020:
D-8 Health and Social Protection Programme (D-8 HSP), based in Abuja Nigeria, has decided to convene a virtual working meeting of the focal persons of the D-8 HSP on 16 April 2020. Realizing the need for cooperation and solidarity of this economic-bloc of geographically dispersed eight countries to fight this pandemic - the meeting of the focal person is expected to come up with mechanisms to lessen the hardship through sharing best practices and resources. It is also anticipated that the meeting will also find means to share number of developed and home-grown health innovation ecosystems and exchanges within or between D-8 countries. The D-8 nations (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey) may also agree on a research methodology to measure the health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
Earlier, in line with Prime Minister’s directive to engage at regional and global platforms to explore collective solutions on the Covid-19 crisis, Bangladesh took the lead to organize such a meeting of D8 HSP. In this respect, Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen wrote a letter to his Turkish counterpart, (where Turkey is the current Chair of D-8), to explore options how we could activate/utilize the D-8 HSP window to support each other during this crisis. It may be noted that D8 HSP became functional October 2020.
Bangladesh Delegation will be led by officials from the DG Health Services and allied institutions who are part of the Covid-19 response team. The D8 HSP Virtual Meeting will be supported by Global Health experts from observer and partner organisations like Chatham House, World Health Organization, ILO, IsDB, Global Women Leaders in Health and CHESTRAD International.
In his letter the Foreign Minister Dr. Momen also proposed to postpone the D8 Summit, which was scheduled to take place in Bangladesh end of May 2020. He further proposed that Bangladesh and Turkey can take joint/collaborative initiatives, engaging the D8 Secretariat and other appropriate entities like UNCTAD/UNIDO, to explore ways and means for concerted efforts to restore confidence and devise strategies regarding potential negative consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on overall economy, growth and jobs of the respective member countries.