21,000 Women Helped To Leave Extreme Poverty Behind Through Cash Grant & Training
More than 21,000 women in Bangladesh are to receive a one-time cash grant of 15,000 taka (US$190) to start small businesses, along with food and training in nutrition and business skills.
The cash will be given to participating women after they have initiated training through a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Government of Bangladesh initiative that aims to reduce poverty for ‘ultra-poor’ women. The women will also receive 30kg of rice fortified with vitamins and minerals each month while they take part.
“The Government of Bangladesh is working toward the eradication of poverty as a middle-income country,” said Meher Afroze Chumki, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs. “The innovative investment component will improve the lives of the ultra-poor and enhance social safety net interventions within the overall purview of the Government’s National Social Security Strategy.”
The scheme, called the Investment Component of the Vulnerable Group Development, is funded by the Government and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). Beginning in 2015, it will have provided money, food and training to more than 21,000 women and their households by 2018. Including family members, nearly 100,000 people will benefit from the project. Two thousand women in Belkuchi and Chowhali upazilas, Sirajganj district, are already taking part.
“One of the aims of Britain’s development cooperation in Bangladesh is to help the Government get better results for poor and vulnerable people from its substantial social safety net expenditure,” said Graham Gass, Team Leader, Extreme Poverty, DFID. “We are very pleased to support the Vulnerable Group Development reform, and look forward in time to seeing similar changes being introduced into other social protection programmes.”
Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh, said that the scheme is quite unique. “So far these types of promotional social safety nets were carried out by NGOs; now the Government has stepped up to implement and also allocated funding from its budget,” she said.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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