A research conducted by the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) identified six transmission mechanisms through which the youths of the country are being affected – health, education, employment, income, poverty, and domestic violence – due to COVID-19.
SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan on Saturday presented recommendations to overcome the problems at a webinar titled “Youth Perspective on Covid-19 Crisis in Bangladesh: Response Through National Budget and Planning”, jointly organised by SANEM and ActionAid Bangladesh.
Chaired by Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, university teachers, private sector representatives, development practitioners and students took part in it.
The recommendations are – provide health coverage and engage the most vulnerable youth group in the health care packages to meet up their basic needs; inclusive education, public-private partnerships to widen access to distance learning tools free of cost, expand capacity of networks without demand surges.
SANEM also suggested extending social safety net to include unemployed youths, creating employment retention schemes, and tax reliefs or interest-free loans to SMEs operated by youths.
Dr Raihan hoped that with collaboration at all levels Bangladesh will be able to get through this crisis.
Farah Kabir shared her observations on the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent effects on the youth of Bangladesh.
“One of the most important aspects of any crisis is the effect of the crisis on the youth. In tackling the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to take into consideration the issues of the youth. These issues have social and economic aspects as well as the mental health aspects,” she added.
She stressed the requirement of national planning and targeted policy interventions to address the issues of the youth in the current context.
Dr Sayema Haque Bidisha, Research Director of SANEM and Professor of Economics department at Dhaka University, Mahtab Uddin, Research Fellow of SANEM and lecturer of the department, Zubayer Hossen, Research Economist of SANEM and Nazmul Ahsan, Manager-Young People of ActionAid Bangladesh took part as panelists.