US President Obama’s Ambassador at Large on Women’s Affairs Melanie Verveer has said that fate of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank is now under threat. Speaking at a press briefing at a hotel in Chittagong on Sunday afternoon, she spoke about Grameen Bank’s role in improving the country’s women’s empowerment and living standards.
She also added that around 8million women are now working for the development of women’s empowerment in the country.
She also said that the Grameen Bank has become a model for various banks across the globe and expressed concern regarding the Managing Director Md. Yunus losing his power to appoint the chairman and board members losing much of their authorities.
MS. Verveer also urged all to ensure the continued integrity, independence and effectiveness of Grameen Bank so that its unique structure, and its borrower members and members of the board can continue to control the bank’s work.
Speaking on US-Bangladesh relations, she said that disagreement over the Grameen Bank issue will not affect the ties between the two countries, however, it has to ensured that the bank is not harmed in any way.
During the briefing, the Ambassador at large recalled her visit to a Grameen Bank village in 1995 accompanying the then US First lady Hillary Clinton. She said after a few months, she witnessed significant change in the living standards of the village people. She also applauded the Grameen Bank’s relentless effort in bringing the change.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena, who was also present at the event, said that it is very important that all major political parties of the country to sit for talks, to make the next general election a non-partisan, transparent and fair election. He also expressed hope that political leaders would soon sit for talks in this regard. He said the ongoing political crisis in the country is now discouraging foreign investment. He also expressed hopes that there will be a growth in foreign investment in Bangladesh, adding that the country now needs more investment to become an Asian Tigers economy.
Among others, US State Department Director for Asian Affairs Heather Variava, Vice Consul Sarah Longbrake, Political Specialist Firoz Ahmed, Press Department head Marina Yesmin and Press and Information officer Kelly S McCarthy, were also present at the event.