IFC to give $50m loan for RMG factory safety works

Staff Correspondent

The International Finance Corporation of the World Bank group on Wednesday announced it would provide US$ 50 million financing for the local banks for making loans available for the garments factories for remediation.
The IFC will provide US$ 10 million each in financing to five Bangladeshi banks which will allow them to increase lending to garment factories to improve their structural, electrical and fire safety infrastructure, said a press release issued by the corporation on the day.
The IFC also signed separate cooperation agreements with North American retailers’ group Alliance and the European group Accord to assist garment factories to undertake the SEF upgrades and monitor compliance.
‘Broad, innovative partnerships are necessary to improve the safety of workers in this critical industry,’ said IFC chief executive officer Jin-Yong Cai.
‘Banks, international buyers, and manufacturers have a shared interest in this issue because it’s indispensable to making Bangladeshi garment factories more competitive and sustainable,’ he said.
Prime Bank Limited has already signed up to the initiative, and four other banks are expected to follow in the coming weeks.
Ellen Tauscher, the chairman of Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety said, ‘Alliance is focused on ensuring workers in the garment sector have a safe and secure working environment. Providing long-term loans to factory owners to undertake and implement remediation is an ongoing effort and this joint initiative will allow for a wider group of factory owners to have access to financing.’
Rob Wayss, executive director of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, said, ‘The aim of Accord is to make the RMG sector in Bangladesh safe and sustainable. Accord signatory companies have invested considerable financial and technical
resources to meet this aim.  The IFC remediation financing program is an important contribution to the Accord’s ongoing efforts to ensure necessary remediation at inspected factories and meets an express request of local industry.’

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