UNDP, with Australian support, provides PPE to city corporation waste cleaners
UNDP, with support from Australia, has provided 5,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for urban waste cleaning workers of Dhaka North and South City, Chattogram and Narayangaj city corporations.
UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee handed over the PPEs today to Tazul Islam, minister for Local Government Division.
With support from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, UNDP will also provide technological support to the government for expanding social support through the Access to Information (a2i) programme.
At least 20,000 poor people will receive cash or in-kind support delivered through UNDP's existing projects in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, North Bengal and the coastal region, said a UNDP statement.
The Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Jeremy Bruer, said Australia has been working with UNDP since 2011 to support Bangladesh develop and implement its national social security strategy aimed at building 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," he added.
Stressing on the safety of frontline workers during this pandemic, Local Government Division Senior Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said the role of urban cleaning workers is not just important for cleanliness of our cities but also to fight any public health crisis like Covid-19.
"Our ministry has been providing PPEs for the protection of cleaning workers. This additional support from UNDP and the Australian Government will further intensify our efforts. I believe as citizens we also have a moral responsibility to stand beside this marginalised group of people," he added.
Sudipto Mukerjee emphasized on the heightened need for an expanded social protection programme during the Covid-19 crisis, and said UNDP appreciates Australia's critical and timely support as social protection has become a vital 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 reach out to many households whose livelihoods and incomes have been disrupted -- making them the 'new poor' -- and bring them within social safety nets," he said.