Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has joined hands with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assist the government of Bangladesh to fight COVID-19. 

With support from the Australian Government, UNDP will provide technological support to the government for expanding social support through a2i programme. In addition, 20,000 poor people will receive cash or in-kind support delivered through UNDP’s existing projects in Chittagong Hill Tracts, North Bengal and Coastal region. Moreover, four City Corporations including Dhaka South, North, Chottogram and Narayangang will receive 5000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for urban waste cleaning workers.

In highlighting its support, High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Mr Jeremy Bruer, said, “Australia has been working with UNDP since 2011 to support the Government of Bangladesh develop and implement its national social security strategy. The strategy aims to build an inclusive social security system to help address poverty and inequality. This work is even more important as we work together with Bangladesh to respond to COVID-19.”

Senior Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Md Shah Kamal, said, “UNDP has always been a trusted partner for Bangladesh both in crisis and broader development. I am delighted that the Australian government and UNDP have come together to support the Bangladesh government’s nationwide effort to fight COVID-19 on health, social and economic fronts.”

Senior Secretary of the Local Government Division, Helal Uddin Ahmed, stressed the importance of the safety of the CVOVID-19 frontline fighters, said, “The role of urban cleaning workers is not just important for cleanliness of our cities but also fight the any public health crisis like COVID-19.  Our ministry has been providing PPEs for the protection of the cleaning workers. This additional support from UNDP and the Australian Government will further intensify our efforts. I believe as citizen we also have a moral responsibility to stand beside this marginalised group of people.”

Highlighting the importance of dual vulnerability of climate change and COVID-19,  Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ziaul Hasan ndc said, “We provided multiple support to the Forest Conservation Groups as part of our effort to promote resilient livelihoods in the coast of Bangladesh. But their products now can’t be sold due to market disruption. Therefore, the support will help them to sustain their consumption. I am sure, we will gain valuable lessons to fight climate change and pandemic together in future from this join effort.”

Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh emphasizing on the heightened need for an expanded Social Protection during the current COVID19 crisis, said, “Our development partnership with Australia is long-standing and even during this crisis we appreciate their critical and timely support as social protection has become a vital response measure to  help many low income communities weather the impacts of the pandemic. Under the renewed partnership we will have the opportunity to help the Government to reach out to many households whose livelihoods and incomes have been disrupted making them the ‘new poor’, and bring them within social safety nets”

Sudipto handed over 5000 Personal Protective Equipment for the cleaning workers today to Md Tazul Islam MP, Minister, Local Government Division in presence of the Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor, Atiqul Islam and other high officials from the government and UNDP.

 

For more information and media interviews, contact:

Md Abdul Quayyum, Head of Communications UNDP: md.quayyum@undp.org, 8801715025551

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