Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka for Rome tomorrow on a four-day official visit to Italy to attend the annual governing council meeting of International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The prime minister is joining the meeting at the invitation of IFAD president Gilbert F Houngbo.
At an invitation of Pope Francis, Sheikh Hasina will also visit the Holy See (Vatican City) where she will hold a meeting with Pope Francis.
An Emirates flight carrying the premier and her entourage members will depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for the Italian capital on in the morning.
The flight is scheduled to reach Fiumicino Airport in Rome at 6:45pm local time. Bangladesh ambassador in Italy Abdus Sobhan Sikder will receive the premier at the airport.
On her way to Rome, the prime minister will make a stopover in Dubai for nearly two hours.
On February 12, Sheikh Hasina will visit the Vatican City to meet Pope Francis. She will also hold a meeting with secretary state of Vatican City Cardinal Pietro Paroline there.
Pope Francis had earlier visited Bangladesh from November 31 to December 2 last at the invitation of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
The prime minister will attend the 41st session of the Governing Council of IFAD in the morning on February 13 at the IFAD Headquarters in Rome.
She will present a keynote paper at the inaugural session of the governing council meeting.
The theme of the IFAD governing council meeting is — From Fragility to Long-term Resilience: Investing in Sustainable Rural Economics.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina in her keynote speech will highlight the country’s successes and achievements in agriculture sector apart from other development initiatives of her government, foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali said while addressing a press briefing in Dhaka on Thursday.
‘She will also focus on various steps taken by her government for development of youths, improving living standard of the poor and rural marginal people and the role of local government to this end,’ he said.
The prime minister will also attend a lunch to be hosted by the IFAD president in hounor of the keynote speakers of the meeting.
Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to attend a community reception at Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel and SPA in Rome in the evening on February 13.
The prime minister will return home on February 15 via Abu Dhabi.
Finance minister AMA Muhith, agriculture minister Begum MatiaChowdhury and foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali will accompany the prime minister during the visit.
IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialised agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.
It was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.
The Rome-based organisation has been implementing various development projects in Bangladesh over the last 30 years for poverty reduction and improving food and nutrition standard of people here.
IFAD has so far provided $ 782 million assistance to different development projects in Bangladesh as grants and soft loan to this end.
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