Luxembourg Minister Visits Friendship NGO

News and Press Release
Originally published

Her Excellency Mrs Paulette Lenert, Minister for Development Cooperation, experienced the Chars of Bangladesh

Her Excellency Mrs Paulette Lenert, Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation & Humanitarian Affairs, visited the chars in Gaibandha and Kurigram on June 11, 2019 at the invitation of Friendship NGO. She primarily visited Friendship's development projects.

The minister started the visit from Emirates Friendship Hospital, which is a ship hospital that serves the remote communities in the riverine areas. She also visited other projects including ICT enabled schools (where students learn from video classes recorded by teachers from Dhaka), legal booths (where the distant communities can get legal advice and help), theater shows (on the awareness of child marriage), flood resistant cluster village on plinths, vocational training centre, disaster response groups and agricultural projects in the Char Sidhai (Gaibandha) and Char Goynerpotol (Kurigram).

Ms Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Friendship and Mr Marc Elvinger, Chairman of Friendship Luxembourg, accompanied the visiting team.

Mrs Lenert remarked on the resilience and willpower shown by the shifting river islanders in Bangladesh, praising the work that Friendship is doing for them. She expressed that Luxembourg wishes to prioritize on projects that are cohesively replicable, and solutions provided by Friendship fall very much into that category.

Ms Runa Khan remarked that the Luxembourg Government has been a major contributor of Friendship in Bangladesh for over a decade, and this support has allowed Friendship to have the kind of impact it has today; improving millions of lives in the most hard-to-reach areas of Bangladesh.

A country in Western Europe, Luxembourg is known for a strong dedication to overseas cooperation, dedicating 1% of its GDP to provide support to low and middle income countries, 15% of which are granted via NGOs.


Friendship International in Luxembourg was opened by Runa Khan, in 2006. It is an independent structure cochaired by Runa Khan and Marc Elvinger. Friendship Luxembourg, chaired by Marc Elvinger, co-financed by the Ministry of Development cooperation is the largest partner of Friendship Bangladesh.


Friendship Bangladesh, is a non-governmental organization, whose core project is working for the vulnerable communities in Bangladesh. Founded by Ms. Runa Khan in 2002, Friendship began with the innovative concept of a floating hospital and progressively built its distinctive integrated community development model, which includes health, education, climate change adaptation and disaster management, sustainable economic development, inclusive citizenship, and cultural preservation, besides its work with refugees and disaster stricken communities for relief and rehabilitation. Friendship’s core work reaches out to 5 million people.

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