The Local Government Division (LGD), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and UNDP have jointly begun a training programme.
The specially designed programme targets around 21,000 young girls and women to build their skills on micro-enterprise development and to help them adapt with the fast-changing employment landscape against the backdrop of large-scale job loss following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.Bangladesh Government’s one of the flagship initiatives ‘Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project’ (LIUPCP) with financial and technical assistance from the FCDO and the UNDP has been implementing the training programme titled ‘Handling the Post COVID Challenges in Micro-Enterprise Management’ in collaboration with the Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM).
The LIUPCP has contributed to stimulate and revitalise the local urban economy by supporting the poor, especially young girls and women living in slums and low-income communities, by providing employable skills and business start-up grants for self or wage employment.
It has also contributed to improving inclusive livelihoods through socio-economic funds being distributed to young girls and boys as well as women through a systematic data-driven and participatory selection process followed by a digital banking transfer.
This training will give the participants a valuable insight into the most contemporary issues of enterprise promotion initially for the expert staff trainers who will cascade the training to more than 800 community facilitators and 20,000 beneficiaries at the ground across 20 city corporations and municipalities in phases.
Addressing an online inaugural ceremony of the training programme on Wednesday, UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee said, “It’s often a challenge for the poor women to decide on what to do with grant money for sustainable economic recovery. I believe this exclusively designed training programme will make that investment effective by generating more employable skills, gainful employment and a modest income for those poor families.”
John Warburton, Team Leader: Extreme Poverty, Resilience and Climate Change, & Senior Environment Adviser at FCDO, British High Commission, said that the impact of Covid-19 on urban poverty has been enormous as the number of poor people has almost tripled in the 20 project cities, from 2 million in 2019 to more than 6 million which means more than 4 million people have emerged as the “new poor” due to the adverse of impact of pandemic.Women are disproportionately affected because of job loss, income loss and business shutdowns. Special efforts, therefore, need to be put in place to support women entrepreneurs, he said.
Chaired by Abdul Mannan, National Project Director and Joint Secretary of the LGD, Dr Jahangir Alam Khan, Member, Governing Body, InM, Dr Md Mosleh Uddin Sadeque, Director, InM, Yugesh Pradhanang, Technical Advisor and Project Manager (acting), LIUPCP, and Ashekur Rahman, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh also spoke on the occasion.
Initiated in 2018, LIUPC Project works in five major areas that include climate resilient housing for low-income urban poor, strengthen community organisations, skills and employment generation for women and girls, improve resilient infrastructure, and strengthen pro-poor urban management, policy and planning.