UNDP provides US$ 1.5m food support for urban poor
Published : Tuesday, 7 April, 2020 at 7:24 PM Count : 235
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is rolling out US$ 1.5m emergency food support for 50,000 extremely urban poor families of Bangladesh to ameliorate some of their immediate hardships and counter potentially devastating socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bangladesh government, this emergency COVID-19 response initiative is being implemented under UNDP’s Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP) – a joint project being implemented by the Local Government Division, DFID and UNDP with an aim to reduce urban poverty, a UNDP press release said here.
“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,” the DFID country representative said.
COVID-19 has put Bangladesh into an unforeseen challenging situation that led the Bangladesh government to ask for shutdown of all economic activities except for emergency services and urge people to restrict mobility and stay at home.
“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, UNDP Resident Representative in 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 and municipalities with awareness raising information and hand-washing facilities.
The strong network and platform established by the project at city corporation and municipal levels are being used to promote preparedness and early actions against the pandemic with a focus on vulnerable populations including women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD).
Around 1200 community workers, with full personal protection, are working on the ground to promote coronavirus prevention awareness including individual hand-washing behaviour and distribution of hygiene package that includes soap and hand sanitizer among the urban poor households.
The project has also started installation of 2,500 hand-washing facilities at the poor settlements and is working to sensitise and build capacities of health officials and volunteers in 20 cities.