Author: BBN Desk

UN to set up new climate change centre to support Pacific island countries

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 New York, NY (BBN) – United Nations chief announced on Tuesday that the United Nations and Samoa plan to establish an Inter-Agency Climate Change Centre to help coordinate support to Pacific Island countries to combat the impact of global warming in their region. Given the direct impact of climate change on vulnerable States in the region, the new agency will focus its support on the mitigation, adaptation and reduction of the risk of disaster facing the Islands, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to the Pacific Islands Forum Summit meeting, held in Alofi, Niue. “I am very heartened that the Pacific island countries are making their voices heard on the subject of climate change,” the UN chief said. “Climate change is not science fiction. As your countries know all too well, it is real and present.” His statement was delivered by Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), according to a UN press statement. Several UN agencies already collaborate with the Pacific Island Forum assisting on a number of issues ranging from farming and fisheries to urbanization and disability. Mr. Ban also expressed his condolences on the death last week of Greg Urwin, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, stating that “he inspired us all with his vision of a cohesive...

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Bangladesh’s inflation crosses 10 percent in June

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh’s Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation crossed the double digit level to 10.04 per cent on the point-to-point basis in June from 7.44 per cent of the previous month. The rate of inflation went up by 2.60 percentage points in June last over that of the May, 2008, mainly due to the increase in prices of food items, officials said. In July 2007, the CPI inflation hit 10.10 per cent on the point-to-point basis for the first time. The food price inflation rose to 14.10 per cent in June from 9.62 per cent in May 2008 while that of non-food items came down to 3.54 per cent from 3.89 per cent, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data. On the other hand, the inflation rate hit 9.94 per cent in June, 2008 from 9.87 per cent of the previous month on the annual average basis, the BBS’s data showed. ‘The inflationary pressures on the economy have slightly gone up during the period, mainly due to the increase in prices of essentials including food items in the local market,’ a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in the capital, Dhaka on Tuesday. “The pass-through of unusual fuel price rise in the international market was not evident in the country’s CPI inflation since the administered fuel prices were...

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UN upgrades hospital for Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan (BBN) – A hospital in an area in south-west Pakistan where many Afghans have taken shelter has received a facelift thanks to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partner, the American Refugee Committee (ARC). The Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) scheme was inaugurated at District Headquarters Hospital in Pishin, Balochistan province, on Monday, according to a UN press statement. The UNHCR contributed nearly $14,000 for the upgrade of the reproductive health-care unit – including a new labor room – at the facility, where over two-thirds of patients are believed to be Afghan. For its part, the ARC purchased medical equipment and hygiene kits and trained staff. Most of the roughly 400,000 registered Afghans in Balochistan live in urban settlements, and the new initiative – which also will cover the North West Frontier Province – seeks to help both the refugees and their host communities by boosting their health, education and water and sanitation facilities, the statement said. Under this program, UNHCR has also contributed to other projects in Balochistan, including improving healthcare for mothers and newborns. BBN/SI/SI/AD-19Augus08-11:48...

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Bangladesh Bank asks banks to appoint two directors from among depositors by September 30

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank of Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday asked the commercial banks to complete the appointment process of two directors from among the depositors by September 30 next. “We’ve asked the banks to appoint such directors to comply with the existing rule,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in the capital, Dhaka. On July 23, 2008, the central bank issued a rule allowing the commercial banks to appoint two directors from among the depositors in line with the existing Bank Companies Act.   Under the new rule, the board of directors of a bank will submit proposal to the central bank seeking approval on appointment of the directors. The official also said the banks will have to take necessary initiatives for appointment new directors within 15 days in the event of retirement of such directors. The central bank of Bangladesh issued a circular in this connection on the day and asked the chief executives of all local commercial banks for taking necessary measures to appoint the directors within the stipulated timeframe. BBN/SI/SI/AD-19August08-9:29 PM...

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Bangladesh’s money-changers come under STR

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has asked the money-changers to comply with the new Anti-money Laundering Ordinance 2008 through the suspicious transaction reporting (STR). “We’ve included the name of money changers in our list of reporting agencies in line with the existing Ordinance,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in the capital, Dhaka on Monday. The central bank of Bangladesh has added the names of insurance companies and money changers in its list of reporting agencies in line with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) recommendations, according to the official. The FATF has already approved 49 recommendations to curb money laundering and terror financing. The FATF is an inter-governmental body whose job is to develop and promote policies, both national and international, to combat money laundering and check financing of terrorism. The money changers will have to preserve detailed information about their clients for a minimum period of five years on the basis of the existing ordinance, the central bank said in a circular, issued earlier. Different financial institutions, including banks, non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs), insurance companies and money changers have been put under ambit of the ordinance as reporting agencies. As per the ordinance, the money changers along with others financial institutions will have to inform the Anti-money Laundering Department of the central...

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