Dhaka: The World Bank (WB) on Friday approved $29 million concessional IDA credit to Bangladesh to support the employment of poor and vulnerable women, coming from monga-prone areas, in the garment sector located in Export Processing Zones (EPZs).
The Northern Areas Reduction of Poverty Initiative (NARI) project will facilitate their employment by providing life-skills training, transitional housing, counseling and job placement services in the garment sector in three EPZs, WB said.
The beneficiaries of the project will include about 10,800 women from five Northern districts, namely Gailbandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, and Rangpur, areas that suffer from seasonal deprivation and famine-like conditions, a phenomenon known as monga, the bank statement added.
Migration of poor women from the impoverished monga-prone northwestern districts to formal employment in the garment sector is substantially lower than that of poor women from other parts of the country, WB Country Director Ellen Goldstein said.
The project aims to link the growth poles of Bangladesh’s rapidly expanding garment sector to one of the poorest and vulnerable groups in the country.
It will undertake awareness raising activities in the five pilot districts, where a screening and orientation program will be used to select appropriate candidates. The selected candidates will be helped to find employment in the Dhaka, Karnaphuli, and Ishwardi EPZs where dormitories and training centers will be constructed.
The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm, has 40 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period; it carries a service charge of 0.75 percent.
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