4m new poor emerge in 20 areas, says UK expert

21,000 girls, women to get training for job

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 23:30, Oct 27,2020


More than four million people have emerged as the ‘new poor’ due to the adverse impact of coronavirus outbreak in 20 municipal areas in Bangladesh, said a British expert on Tuesday in Dhaka.  

The impact of COVID-19 on urban poverty has been enormous as the number of poor people has almost tripled from two million in 2019 in the 20 project cities and municipalities in the pandemic situation, John Warburton, a senior environment adviser at the British FCDO, said at a function organised for launching a training programme for young girls and women.

Women are disproportionately affected because of job loss, income loss and business shutdowns. Special efforts, therefore, need to be put in place to support women entrepreneurs, Warburton said, according to a press release.

The Local Government Division of the government, UNDP and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the British High Commission jointly began the training.

It was designed for the participants to attain insight into the most contemporary issues of enterprise promotion initially for the expert staff trainers who will provide the training to more than 800 community facilitators and 20,000 beneficiaries across 20 city corporations and municipalities in phases.

UNDP Bangladesh resident representative Sudipto Mukerjee said this training was designed for generating more employable skills, gainful employment and a modest income for the poor families.

About 21,000 young girls and women are expected to get their skills built on micro-enterprise development and to help them adapt with the fast-changing employment landscape against the backdrop of large-scale job loss following the COVID-19 pandemic, speakers said.

LGD joint secretary Abdul Mannan, who is also national project director of Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project, chaired the session.   

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