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Donors’ team visits CHT Our Correspondent, Rangamati

Donors’ team visits CHT
Our Correspondent, Rangamati, Oct 18, 2005

A top-level donors’ team arrived in Rangamati yesterday on a four-day visit to observe the progress of the confidence building programme among the people of this region.

The United Nations Develop-ment Programme (UNDP) undertook the special programme after the 1997 Chittagong peace accord that ended the armed conflict.

The team comprises European Union (EU) Ambassador Stefan Frohwein, Charge d’Affaires of Canada Robert Beadle, Barbara Payne of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), three other EU officials and high officials of UNDP’s Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Facility (CHTDF) project.

UNDP sources said the objective of the tour is to observe the groundwork and its impact on the different communities of this region.

The EU made a commitment to the UNDP recently to donate a sum of $9,00,000 for the long-time expansion of the CHTDF programme.

“The visit of top-level donors, prior to forward the committed sum, clearly indicates that donors would like to confirm the programme’s possible effectiveness towards its objectives,” a source close to UNDP said.

During their stay, the representatives will visit project sites at remote villages in Bilaichhari, Selochhari and Sagadachhara in Rangamati and Baitta Para and Puran Mirza Para in Tangkabati union of Bandarban.

The representatives are expected to meet Shantu Larma, chief of the Jana Sanghati Samity, and chairman of the Chittagong Regional Council, Raja Devashish Roy and Raja Aung Su Prue Chowdhury traditional chiefs of Chakma circle and Bohmang circle, Dr Maniklal Dewan the chairman of Rangamati Hill District Council and leaders of indigenous and non-indigenous people.

Sources said the UNDP has been trying to collect more international funds for the CHTDF project and it is also conducting a fund-raising campaign through their worldwide network.

Earlier, Australia donated about $10 million for implementation of the project that officially started here on July 14, 2003. The fund was so far spent on carrying out a one-year pilot scheme. Since the UNDP extended the scheme for five year to 2009, it needs more money, sources said.

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