Efficient and Accountable Local Government (EALG) project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Government of Denmark repurposed the project activities and launched Covid-19 response initiative in 251 unions of 18 Upazilas on 04 June in a virtual meeting.
EALG project, housed by the Local Government Division, has been working in 18 Upazilas of Khulna, Chandpur, Faridpur, Patuakhali, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Netrokona, Sunamganj and Cox’s Bazar districts since 2018 to strengthen the capacities of local government. During this pandemic, the project has repurposed its budget to fight COVID19 by raising mass awareness, providing PPE, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, soaps and setting up handwashing facilities, benefitting almost 500,000 people.
Helal Uddin Ahmed, Senior Secretary of Local Government Division attended the online launching event as the chief guest. “These are unforeseen times, yet there has never been a better time to help those who are in need. With the economy gradually reopening, it is crucial to maintain health guidelines and stay cautious. EALG’s Covid-19 response initiatives will decrease the likelihood of people contracting the disease,” said Helal Uddin Ahmed.
Montarin Mahal Aminuzzaman, Senior Adviser of DANIDA and Suzanne Mueller, Director of Cooperation, SDC, both highlighted the importance of raising mass awareness at union levels, ensuring personal safety.
“Adapting to the times and meeting the needs of our beneficiaries is necessary during this pandemic, especially as we remain committed to leaving no one behind. Transparency is extremely important while doing that,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh. “This is an opportunity as much as this is a crisis. This is an opportunity for transformative thinking for development, embracing the “new normal”. I salute all the frontline workers, who are working at the union level to protect people's lives,” Sudipto added.
The online session was moderated by EALG’s National Project Director Amitavh Sarker. Among others, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative Van Nguyen; Governance Cluster Lead, Mahmuda Afroz; Project Manager Shariful Hoque, and local government representatives were present.