Desk Report: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves here for Rome today morning on a four-day official visit to Italy to attend the annual governing council meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The prime minister is joining the 41st session of the IFAD 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) to hold a meeting with the Pope.
An Emirates flight carrying the premier and her entourage members will depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport here for the Italian capital today morning.
The flight is scheduled to reach Fiumicino Airport in Rome at 6:45 pm local time. Bangladesh Ambassador to 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 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'.
During the two-day meeting, delegates will discuss how investing in sustainable rural livelihoods is central to peace, state-building and social stability around the world.
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 told a press briefing here on Thursday.
"She (prime minister) 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 honor 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 in the morning on February 15 via Abu Dhabi.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury and Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, among others, will accompany the prime minister during her visit to Italy.
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._BSS
risingbd/Dhaka/Feb 11, 2018/Saif/Nasim