Lord Sheikh was part of a British Parliamentary delegation which visited Bangladesh during 10th to 14th November in conjunction with APPG for Global Action Against Childhood Pneumonia and the GAVI Alliance, a global health organisation focused on vaccination. One of the aims of the visit was to see firsthand how effectively UK Aid to Bangladesh, both bilateral and the £814 million given to the GAVI Alliance for vaccines, is being used. Lord Sheikh also visited the country to encourage greater interaction and coordination between Bangladesh’s Government, Parliamentarians and the UK. Lord Sheikh has commented as follows:
My particular aims were to look closely at:
- UK supported humanitarian and development projects
- UK-Bangladesh business and trade issues
- UK-Bangladesh education links
- The aims and focus of the Bangladesh Government
- Bangladesh, including the country and the people, first-hand
I was therefore determined to hold as many meetings and visits with experts and representatives on these subjects as possible whilst in the country. In terms of development and humanitarian issues I held meetings with The Prime Minister, The Hon’ble Sheikh Hasina MP; the Health Minister, Prof A.F.M. Ruhal Haque MP; DFID Bangladesh; the British High Commissioner; Oxfam; Save the Children; The GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research and The Bangladesh Immunisation Team amongst others. For business and trade purposes I discussed developing stronger UK-Bangladesh trade links with the Prime Minister, the Bangladesh Commerce Minister, Dr Faruq Khan MP, The UK Head of Trade and Investment Bangladesh, three leading representatives of the UK business community in Dhaka from the energy, infrastructure and consultancy industries as well as a young British entrepreneur, who has recently set up business in Dhaka. I was also able to discuss the development of stronger education between Bangladesh and UK institutions with the minister and British representatives I have mentioned above as well as the Head of the British Council Bangladesh.