bangladesh climate strategic planCivil-society members Sunday urged the government to increase the volume of public investment in its social safety net and primary healthcare programs to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change.

They also called for incorporation of the social safety-net programme and healthcare service into the country's climate-change action plan.

They made the call from a seminar on Climate Change Strategic Plan 2009: Health and Social Safety Net.

The program was held in city's Dhaka Reporter's Unity auditorium jointly organised by Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) and Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD).

"The government's social safety-net program should ensure the livelihood climate-induced migrant people," said Syed Aminul Hoque of EquityBD.

According to International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), around 30 million people will be displaced due to climate change in Bangladesh, rendering them climate refugees, he said.

Social safety-net programme has to be stronger than that in present times, he said, to ensure the livelihood of these people.

Climate change will be responsible for increasing up to 5 percent of diseases in Bangladesh in near future, he said quoting World Health Organisation (WHO).

The government has a little focus on the health issue related to global warming in its climate strategic plan, 6th five-year plan and national annual plan, he added.

It entails at least Tk16000 crore government fund to ensure health services for poor people to implement Millennium Development Goals while the present allocation is only about Tk6000 crore annually.

Prof Dr M. A. Mannan MP addressing as chief guest stressed dissemination of information on climate change through to the upazila level for mass awareness.

Israfil Alam, a lawmaker, expressed the need for increasing fund for scientific research on climate change so that the actual fallout could be identified.

He suggested that all political parties should work together to meet the challenges of climate change in health sector.

Dr Nilufar Banu, executive director of Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP), Institute for Environment and Development (IED), Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, ASM Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, among others, spoke at the programme.

Published in Daily Sun.