The British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Robert Chatterton Dickson, inaugurated climate-resilient community infrastructures in Cox's Bazar and Chattogram.
The initiative was taken during his two-day visit to the two cities from 27-28 February, as part of the Livelihoods Improvement of the Urban Poor (LIUPC) Project, financed by the UK Government with the government of Bangladesh and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said a press release.
Resident Representative of UNDP Sudipto Mukerjee, Mayor Chattogram City Corporation Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Mayor Cox's Bazar Municipality Mujibur Rahman, National Project Director of LIUPCP and Joint Secretary Md Masum Patwary were present at the inauguration ceremonies, amongst others.
The high commissioner said, "I am very impressed by this programme. It helps people from vulnerable communities affected by climate change to come together and, with relatively modest support from others, undertake measures to improve their own lives. It is encouraging to see communities and local governments working together to construct climate-resilient infrastructures. In the last two days, we have seen how this can transform the living conditions of poor people. The programme demonstrates best practices that can be taken up elsewhere in Bangladesh and in other countries directly affected by climate change. The UK Government is proud to provide funding and work in partnership with UNDP and the government of Bangladesh".
Sudipto Mukerjee, in his remarks, said, "We maintain a strong commitment towards the urban poor population across Bangladesh, with a key objective of ensuring sustainable improvements in their livelihoods and living conditions. Thanks to the support from UK government, UNDP, through LIUPCP, is helping local government institutions to invest in more inclusive development and become effective in improving the lives of millions of urban poor people in a multifaceted manner. We are helping them participate in Bangladesh's continuing economic success story and ensuring that no one is left behind in cities and towns."
He continued, "With increasing intensity as well as the frequency of climate-induced disasters resulting in growing numbers of urban, climate-vulnerable people in Bangladesh, the project has also developed climate-resilient strategies at the communities by developing locally adapted infrastructures, which is changing the lives of the urban poor in a sustainable manner."
The envoy also visited the LIUPC project sites to learn about the progress made so far. Chatterton Dickson expressed his satisfaction with the results achieved till now and hoped the continued partnership would have a profound impact on urban poverty reduction.
The LIUPC project, which is being implemented by UNDP on behalf of the government of Bangladesh and the UK government across 19 towns and cities in Bangladesh, is improving the livelihoods and wellbeing of the poor urban communities, empowering women and building resilience at low-income settlements to combat the effects of climate change. Since 2018, the UK government and UNDP Bangladesh have been at the forefront of efforts to reduce urban poverty in Bangladesh in close coordination with the government of Bangladesh, and the LIUPC Project is considered to be the largest ever partnership between the two agencies in an urban context, globally – according to the media release.