A €93 million European grant plus a €20 million German grant will help the Government of Bangladesh to provide cash assistance to workers in the export-oriented industries adversely affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic, and contribute to boost the resilience of the national social protection system, according to the
European Union website.

This amount is part of the over €334 million (around BDT 31 billion) Team Europe is mobilising for the fight against COVID-19 and its consequences in Bangladesh. Since COVID-19 knows no borders, the European Union (EU), its Member States and the European financial institutions, have joined forces as Team Europe (#TeamEurope) to tackle the pandemic.

In its ongoing development cooperation programmes in Bangladesh the EU is already addressing many areas crucial in the COVID-response and the recovery of the economy (e.g. in food security, private sector development, WASH). The €334 million allocated to help Bangladesh fight the pandemic is on top of the ongoing programmes, the European Union said in a rectn press release.

In addition, the French Development Agency – Agence Française de Développement – (AFD) will support the Bangladesh Government with €150 million to improve the country’s social protection measures.

The €113 million grant will suffice for three months of wages to about 1 million workers laid off by readymade garment (RMG) factories in Bangladesh. Under the grant, a worker will get Tk3,000 a month for June, July, and August.

RMG workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic would be eligible for this support, media reports in Bangladesh said. Workers who were laid off due to the closure of factories, after the government decided to shut down all businesses in March, and did not join another factory and are still unemployed, will be eligible for the cash support.

However, the disbursement of this cash support has not started due to bureaucratic difficulties, and is expected to start from July once an agreement is singed by the EU and the Bangladesh government, and other necessary procedures are completed.

More than 400 RMG factories laid off workers due to cancellations of orders by global apparel brands and retailers and lack of new orders from foreign buyers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).