© UNDP Bangladesh

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) signed a cost-sharing agreement on 05 August at the UN Building in Dhaka.

The deal aims to get 6192 extreme poor and vulnerable women from Kurigram, GaiBandha, Lalmonirhat and Jamalpur districts out of poverty.

The initiative is part of the third phase of the Strengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO), a social security project of the government and UNDP, which has in the first two phases seen 8,928 graduate out of poverty in Satkhira and Kurigram.

The project works to ensure sustainable livelihood and food security for extreme poor and vulnerable rural women.

The total budget of the third phase of SWAPNO is USD 7.3 million, where the Government of Bangladesh, Sida and UNDP contribute $3.2million, $3.5 million and 0.6 million respectively. Marico International is also a partner of this project.

Anders Öhrström, Charge the Affairs of the Embassy of Sweden and Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, signed the agreement, on behalf of their respective organisations.

Speaking at the signing ceremony Sudipto said, “SWAPNO project has been working to bring the transformative changes in the lives of extreme poor women in Bangladesh through creating decent and sustainable job opportunities and involving them in income generating activities.”

“Providing women with equal access to decent work will help us to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, leaving no one behind,” Sudipto further added.

Anders Öhrström, highlighted the long-standing partnership with UNDP in the areas of human rights, climate change, gender equality and disaster resilience.

Senior officials from Sida and UNDP were present during the signing ceremony.

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