Leading by example: Bangladesh’s approach to regional humanitarian crisis

KATHMANDU

In recent times, Bangladesh most often gets significant global attention for her geopolitical quandary, US- backed targeted sanctions on security apparatus and climate disasters, while ignoring its significant and proven contribution to humanitarian activities. Though Bangladesh’s realization of humanitarian diplomacy has not been developed for many years, an impressive record of development and growth since the last decade owing to the demographic dividend, robust ready-made garment exports, remittances, and comparatively stable macroeconomic circumstances motivates the country to use its soft power through humanitarian assistance.

Natural calamities including cyclones, floods, droughts, earthquakes, heatwaves, forest fires, severe food and energy scarcity caused by the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sri-Lanka crisis, and the Afghan humanitarian catastrophe remind South Asian countries to revitalize the SAARC food bank and the SAARC disaster management framework to navigate economic and humanitarian turmoil in member nations. Unfortunately, no major breakthrough in regional cooperation and coordination has happened till now due to the respective countries’ narrowly defined geopolitical calculation.

It is evident that Afghanistan, under the new Taliban regime, is confronting a wide range of challenges