14 million Bangladesh migrants live abroad, sending remittances that account for almost 6% of Bangladesh’s GDP. Bangladesh is the country of origin with the sixth highest number of international migrants globally and remains one of the top ten countries for remittances. However, given the multi-faceted nature of migration of Bangladesh, the sector often faces various challenges which include: displacement, exploitation, high recruitment costs and others.
In addition to their financial contributions, which are often in the form of remittances and investments, Bangladeshi diaspora members have been bringing knowledge, expertise and social capital as an integral part of their contributions to Bangladesh to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
In this context, the Programme is supporting the development of a diaspora policy to foster engagement of the diaspora in Bangladesh’s sustainable development. This policy is a priority for the government and builds on previous studies of diaspora engagement in Bangladesh. A whole-of-government and whole-of-society diaspora policy can promote the diaspora’s economic and social contributions to local communities in Bangladesh. Through technical assistance from diaspora experts, as well as knowledge exchange with the 10 other Programme countries, the government will be able to identify good practices and circumvent potential challenges, ensuring this policy is well-designed, implemented and monitored.
Alongside the development of the diaspora policy, the Programme also raises awareness in the government and UN Agencies on the linkages between migration and sustainable development. This builds on the results of an inter-agency pilot project under the UNDP-IOM COVID-19 Seed Funding Initiative. While also collecting data on socio-economic vulnerability and displacement caused by natural hazards and the COVID-19 pandemic, the pilot project served to learn from and enhance cooperation and coordination among UN agencies. Raising awareness of this innovative project will support evidence-based policymaking around mobility and its development implications. The Programme will showcase this project in its training for the Parliamentary Caucus on Migration and Development and UN Agencies in Bangladesh on the 2030 Agenda.
Through ongoing support from the Programme, the UN’s Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Bangladesh for the 2022-2026 period has integrated migration aspects. Efforts by the Programme have also ensured the integration of migration considerations into the Bangladesh 8th Five Year Plan on sustainable development.
In order to build on these successes, Bangladesh also shares its experiences and builds the capacities of the other 10 countries within the Global Programme. The government and UN Agencies participate in trainings and knowledge exchange activities, such as our Peer Exchange Group on diaspora engagement. The Programme then supports the government to further showcase its successes in regional and global fora such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development.
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