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UK's Permanent Secretary for DFID ends visit to Bangladesh

UK Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID) Mark Lowcock ends visits to Bangladesh

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Mark Lowcock, UK Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID),
Mark Lowcock, UK Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID),

Mark Lowcock, UK Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID), concluded his two-day visit to Bangladesh on 16 March.

At the end of his visit, Mark Lowcock said:

‘‘The UK is a long-standing partner of Bangladesh. We enjoy a vibrant bilateral relationship and are proud of supporting Bangladesh’s efforts to combat poverty and achieve middle-income status by 2021.

Britain is determined that our aid programme, delivered with Government of Bangladesh and other development partners, succeeds and demonstrates high impact and maximum value for money. What matters is results, in terms of our impact on the lives of the poor - the number of girls and boys educated, people with access to safe water, mothers having safe births.’’

As part of his visit, Mark visited UCEP (Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programme) project in Mirpur to meet children studying at the centre, and discussed how skills and vocational training can support development goals. He also visited a garments factory to see how UK aid is helping to improve safety and working conditions, especially for women, in Bangladesh’s garment sector since the Rana Plaza tragedy.

Following his visit to an urbanisation project (funded by the UK aid, in partnership with UNDP) in Korail slum, he commented:

“I have seen first-hand today how UK aid is making a difference to the lives of the poor, especially women and girls, by providing access to clean water, sanitation facilities and shelter. This is a fundamental part of our development support. But there is also an even more powerful story here. We are also making a difference by empowering communities to manage their own development. Representatives from these communities – including many inspiring women like those I met - now have seats at local government meetings and have a voice and choice on services provided.’’

Mark also met Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairman of BRAC. He said:

“I am really proud of the UK Government’s innovative partnership with BRAC. We have worked together for many years to lift some of the very poorest people in Bangladesh out of extreme poverty to empower women and girls and to address the development challenges of the future.

The UK is the largest funder of BRAC’s development programmes. That is based on BRAC’s proven track record of delivering results and changing the lives of poor people in Bangladesh.”

Background Information:

  • Mark Lowcock is Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID). He was appointed on 9 June 2011. The Permanent Secretary is the most senior Civil Servant in the department. He began his career in DFD (formally the Overseas Development)
  • Mark Lowcock last visited Bangladesh in 2011.
  • For detailed information on our programmes, and what the UK spends on development in Bangladesh, see the DFID Bangladesh operational plan 2014. See also our development tracker to explore international development projects funded by the UK Government by country and sector.
  • Mark is active on Twitter: @DFID_Mark
Published 18 March 2015