The European Union and Germany jointly provided Tk 800crore to the Bangladesh government on Thursday to strengthen the key areas of its social security system and build resilience to COVID-19 with a particular focus on affected workers of export-oriented industries.
This is the first joint disbursement from the €113 million grant, provided by the EU and Germany as a part of Team Europe’s response to fight COVID-19 and its consequences in Bangladesh.
The EU ambassador, Rensje Teerink, in this regard, said, ‘The best preparation to respond to a crisis is to ensure that the governance structures are functioning effectively, capable to adapt to changes and have the ability to rapidly leverage finance. The Bangladesh government has reacted swiftly under its stimulus package to address COVID-19 by scaling up core safety net programmes and introducing new ones to provide relief to populations in need. The inclusion of affected workers in the RMG, leather and footwear sectors is an encouraging step to ensure adequate coverage across lifecycle.’
The German ambassador, Peter Fahrenholtz, said, ‘It is our pleasure that we are supporting the Bangladesh government in mitigating the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable workers in key export sectors. We hope that the support will reach as many eligible workers as possible.’
On 22 December, eligible workers under the Social Protection Programme for Unemployed and Distressed Workers in the RMG, Leather goods and Footwear Industries, managed by the Department of Labour, Ministry of Labour and Employment, received the first monthly allowance of Tk 3,000 through their bank accounts or mobile banking.
According to the programme guidelines, eligible workers will be identified in coordination with the employers’ associations, including Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather goods and Footwear Exporters’ Association.
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