Rana Plaza fund is a broken promise
Fifteen retailers and brands that have committed to contributing to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund for the victims are yet to pay, even after two years have passed since the deadly industrial disaster claimed the lives of 1,138 workers and injured many more.
A total of 29 western retailers and brands used to buy garments from the five factories housed in the unauthorised, sprawling Rana Plaza building in Savar, about 30 kilometres from Dhaka.
“The activities of the fund are still on. We are working with stakeholders to collect and disburse funds to the victims,” said Srinivas B Reddy, country director of International Labour Organisation.
The Rana Plaza Claims Administration (RPCA) had previously estimated the size of the fund at $40 million, which was later cut down to $30 million, due to poor responses from the retailers and brands. The available fund now stands at $21 million, including the $2.49 million from the prime minister's relief fund.
In a meeting on December 17 last year, the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee (RPCC) reviewed the estimate of the fund and reset the figure, according to Rana Plaza Arrangement, a website for information on Rana Plaza fund disbursement.
The amount has been reduced as two components of the claims -- income replacement and future medical/allied care needs -- have been replaced from the process arranged under the ILO Convention 121. The ILO is managing the fund.
From March to September 2014, 2,832 claims have been received from dependents of the deceased or missing, as well as injured workers, according to the website.
Nearly 1,500 claims have been endorsed by RPCC and 1,400 more awards needed to be finalised for approval until October last year. All the awards endorsed so far have already been dispersed to the claimants. RPCA has received 141 claims from the families of the missing workers.