$1.5m UNDP support for urban poor

Diplomatic Correspondent

8 April, 2020 12:00 AM printer

UNDP with the support of the British and Bangladesh governments will provide US $1.5 million for emergency food support for 50,000 extremely urban poor families to face the potentially devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has put Bangladesh into an unforeseen challenging situation that led the Government of Bangladesh to ask for shutdown of all economic activities except for emergency services and urge people to restrict mobility and stay at home, according to UNDP press release on Tuesday.

This emergency COVID-19 response initiative has been implemented under UNDP’s Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project, a joint project being implemented by the Local Government Division of Bangladesh, UK Department for International Development (DFID) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with an aim to reduce urban poverty.

“Reaching the urban poor and vulnerable very quickly and rapidly is always challenging in a global crisis like COVID-19. I am very pleased that DFID, in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh and UNDP, was able to respond so quickly,” said Judith Herbertson, DFID Bangladesh Country Representative.

“The livelihoods of a large number of urban poor have been severely disrupted due to the lockdown and the loss of income. By working closely with the officials of the City administration, the Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project is responding to the situation in a number of ways, including providing hand washing facilities and cash grants to buy food for those whose income has either stopped or been severely affected due to this unprecedented situation,” she added.

“What we are trying to do under this initiative, is to make things easier for the people to follow the public order – which is to stay home and prevent the virus from spreading and therefore this partnership will deliver food at the doorsteps of the poor households. We are targeting 2.16 million urban poor people to keep them safe from Coronavirus. I thank DFID for their timely support,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh.

The urban low-income communities in Bangladesh are exposed to high risk of infections for overcrowded living conditions with inadequate sanitation and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities.

The DFID has provided £3 million to UNDP to reach at least 2.16 million people in urban slums across 20 city corporations/municipalities with awareness raising information and hand washing facilities.