Speakers at a webinar on Saturday said the current flood situation is also hindering the economic growth of the country
The coronavirus pandemic has already had severe impacts on Bangladesh's achievement in five of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The goals are no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, decent work and economic growth, and reduced inequalities.
The first three goals, in particular, are the hardest hit.
Speakers said this at a webinar titled "What to do to implement sustainable development programmes in Bangladesh considering the Covid-19 situation?" held on Saturday. The webinar also discussed the Sustainable Development Report 2020 released by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Besides Covid-19, the current flood situation is also hampering the economic growth of the country, added the speakers.
Planning Minister MA Mannan participated at the webinar as the chief guest, while Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), was in the chair.
The pandemic is hampering the government's development activities and the country's economic growth, said Minister MA Mannan, adding that the government, however, is taking appropriate measures to overcome the challenge.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said the achievement of the sustainable development goals of eradicating poverty and creating decent employment for all in the country looks unlikely.
The stimulus packages are not being implemented properly, he noted, adding that the government could not determine the method as to how the incentives will be disbursed among the poor.
These packages are yet to reach out to the extreme poor in rural areas, he added.
Referring to the Tk2,000-crore stimulus package for returnee migrant workers, he said Tk500 crore from the fund is supposed to be disbursed through the PKSF, but that the organisation has not received the money yet.
He also claimed fraud groups are working behind this though the government plan is well calculated.
Zuena Aziz, chief coordinator of SDG affairs at the Prime Minister's Office, said the government is determined and sincere to protect the lives and livelihoods of the poor.
Meanwhile, Dr Shamsul Alam, senior secretary of the Ministry of Planning, said Covid-19 infection rate is declining in Bangladesh. He, however, emphasised the need for continuing economic activities without relaxing the rules of hygiene in order to achieve development and sustainable economic growth.
He also spoke about the various steps taken by the government to achieve the SDGs.
Mohsin Ali, executive director of Wave Foundation Bangladesh, said the poverty rate may increase by 40 to 50 percent due to the pandemic.
He also referred to a survey that shows 98.3 percent of people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some 87 percent people have been affected by foods, while 5 percent are eating once a day now, the survey found.
The affected poor have spent all they got in financial assistance from the government and from other sources, and are now facing serious problems because of the foods.
He suggested that the government ensure food to at least 1 crore people for the next six months. The assistance should be provided on a monthly basis, he said.
The Sustainable Development Report (SDR) 2020, including the SDG Index and Dashboards, which was released on June 30, is a complement to the official SDG indicators and the voluntary national reviews published by Cambridge University Press.