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The Bangladesh Chapter of the Accelerator Labs was launched on 28 April at a virtual event to accelerate learning and mitigate the challenges of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), reports UNB.

The lab is a new addition to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) funded by the German Cooperation and the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).

Attended by the planning minister MA Mannan as the chief guest, the virtual event brought together actors from the government, private sector, development partners, civil society, and academia.

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The planning minister said the global network like UNDP's Accelerator Lab can help Bangladesh to regain its space for timely achievement of the SDGs by 2030 and LDC graduation by 2026.

Sultana Afroz, chief executive officer of the Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) under the Prime Minister’s Office, said that PPPA can collaborate with UNDP's Accelerator Lab to bring innovations in achieving the SDGs.

Foreign affairs secretary Masud Bin Momen, expressed his hope that the newly launched Accelerator Lab would be a tool to address many challenges in Bangladesh like climate change, disaster management, inequality and the adverse impact of the Covid pandemic.

NM Zeaul Alam, senior secretary for the ICT Division, said, the Accelerator Lab could help reduce the digital divide caused by the pandemic.

The panel discussion was moderated by the resident representative of UNDP Bangladesh, Sudipto Mukerjee.

Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator (SDG Affairs), PMO, delivered her introductory speech.

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In 2019, UNDP built the world's largest and fastest learning network, Accelerator Labs, on sustainable development challenges.

Started with 60 Lab teams covering 78 countries, the network has now expanded to 91 Labs covering 115 countries, including Bangladesh.

In 2020 alone, the Labs documented more than 1,700 grassroots-led solutions covering all 17 SDGs.

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