Tk 660cr projects aim at poverty alleviation
Social Development Foundation (SDF) is implementing $101 million (Tk 660 crore) three key projects with an aim to address the country's acute poverty, rebuild and rehabilitate disaster-hit localities as around 5.6 crore people still live at or below the poverty line.
The projects are 'Social Investment Programme Project' (SIPP), 'Flood Restoration and Recovery Assistance Programme' and 'Notun Jibon Cyclone Recovery Programme'.
SDF, an autonomous organisation established by the government in 2001, is implementing the projects with assistance from World Bank to rehabilitate the people affected by cyclone and flood, SDF officials said.
SIPP is being implemented in Jamalpur and Gaibandha districts, reaching benefits to over two million poor people. It follows community driven development (CDD) approach where the community identifies their requirements and dictates the planning to meet their needs.
Under the project, village institutions have so far been formed in 922 villages of the districts through inclusion of women, youths and the poorest. It has reached over 190,000 poor households and mobilised them into 14,274 small livelihood groups (Jibikayan Groups) that engage in savings and internal lending.
“Even in the face of rising food prices and two subsequent floods in 2007 that destroyed household incomes, these groups have accumulated savings amounting to Tk 50 million and provided Tk 33 million as small loans to their group members to finance income-generating activities,” said an SDF official.
As the current operation of SIPP has shown success, the government is now preparing a follow-on project to SIPP -- Empowerment and Livelihood Project (SIPP II) -- for Rangpur, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Dinajpur districts. “The work for implementing SIPP II is going on in full swing,” the SDF official said.
The poverty rate in Nilphamari, Rangpur and Kurigram districts -- often hit by 'monga' -- is over 60 percent, according to official statistics.
SDF along with Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) is implementing the 'Flood Restoration and Recovery Assistance Programme' in the districts devastated by floods in 2007.
In response to the government's request for rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance in the aftermath of the floods, the WB's International Development Association (IDA) came up with the $25 million emergency programme.
Some 250 flood-affected villages, including 150 in Jamalpur and 100 in Gaibandha, have been covered under the consolidated phase of SIPP. An additional 100 non-SIPP villages will also be covered. About 150,000 flood-hit families are expected to get direct benefit from the livelihood support activities.
The 'Notun Jibon Cyclone Recovery Programme' is being implemented to help restore the assets and livelihoods of the people affected by the devastating cyclone Sidr in 2007. To implement the project, the government has signed a credit agreement worth $50 million with the IDA.
The project has initially targeted 150,000 households of 35 unions in 10 upazilas of four districts -- Patuakhali, Barguna, Pirojpur and Bagerhat.
In Barguna, SDF will directly implement the project, while partner organisations (POs) will be hired for the rest of the districts.
SDF through a PO has launched a pilot scheme in four unions of these four districts in July 2008. The unions are Chaltabunia in Golachipa upazila of Patuakhali, Koraibari union of Amtoli upazila in Barguna, Gulshakhali union of Mathbaria upazila in Pirojpur and Nishanbari union in Morelganj upazila of Bagerhat.