United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has rolled out urgent response to help nearly 2.16 million people stay safe from the deadly coronavirus in an effort to protect Bangladesh’s urban poor, the group most vulnerable to the threat posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
The Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP), being implemented jointly with Bangladesh government’s Local Government Division with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), is at the forefront of the initiative.
“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,” said Joint Secretary of the Bangladesh government and National Project Director of LIUPCP Md Abdul Mannan.
He said they are closely working in partnership with 20 city corporations/municipalities currently with around 2.16 million beneficiaries grouped under around 2500 Community Development Committees (CDCs), according to UNDP, reports UNB.
“Against the backdrop of current scenario, LIUPCP has engaged its strength and efforts towards prevention of COVID-19 pandemic. The strong network and platform established at the city corporation and municipal levels are engaged for preparedness and early actions against COVID-19,” Mannan pointed out.
The project has taken a three-pronged approach to respond concurrently across the pre-surge, surge and recovery phases, with a focus on vulnerable populations including women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD).
“What we’re trying to do 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 support at the doorsteps of the poor households,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh.
Around 1200+ community workers are at the forefront of LIUPCP’s implementation on the ground through community mobilization. They have been provided with Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE)/hygiene kits.
The project has also started installation of 2,500 hand-washing facilities at the key locations of 20 city corporations/municipalities as well as in the communities.
In addition, promotion of individual hand-washing behaviour and introducing low-cost facilities (Tipi-tap) at household level are taking place at the community level.
The urban poor households have also been given hygiene package from the project that includes soap, hand sanitiser, etc.
Also, in line with emergency response plan, UNDP is also raising the awareness of the people on coronavirus prevention in the communities through communications and outreach campaign.
The project has been supporting the city corporations and municipalities in the areas of coordination & capacity building.
LIUPCP’s support towards existing coordination mechanism at the city/town level has been in place as per Standing Orders on Disaster (SOD) under the leadership of the mayor.
The project will also sensitise and work for capacity building of the health officials and volunteers in 20 cities.
In addition, data, research and third party monitoring though Online Management Information Systems is a priority.
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