The European Union will provide around $24.3 million to the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) for implementing a new project.
PKSF Managing Director Dr Nomita Halder and Head of Cooperation of EU Delegation to Bangladesh Maurizio Cian signed a grant agreement on behalf of their respective organisations to implement the project titled "Pathways to Prosperity for Extremely Poor People (PPEPP) – European Union" at the PKSF Bhaban in Agargaon, Dhaka yesterday.
The PPEPP-EU project will support 215,000 most vulnerable extremely poor households (about 0.86 million people) in 145 unions of 12 districts where poverty rates are higher than the national average.
The specific objective of the project is to enable the target people to exit from extreme poverty and make significant progress towards prosperity.
The project will work in flood-prone river basin area of northwestern region (Rangpur, Kurigram, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Nilphamari and Gaibandha), cyclone and saline-prone southwestern region (Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Patuakhali and Bhola), northeastern haor region (Kishoreganj) and some ethnic minority clusters in the north.
It will focus on livelihood and enterprise development, nutrition and primary healthcare, access to services through community mobilisation, disability inclusion, climate resilience building and women empowerment.
Target groups will include women-headed households, single mothers, the elderly, households with child labour, persons with disabilities, people of the third gender and intersectional groups such as ethnic minorities.
The Pathways to Prosperity for Extremely Poor People project was originally launched by PKSF in 2019, with joint funding from the UK government's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO; formerly DFID) and the EU.
Following FCDO's exit from the project after four years of successful interventions, the EU signed separate grant contracts with the Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance and PKSF to continue the project for the next three years.
EU Delegation to Bangladesh Maurizio Cian said, "We hope this project will help in eradicating extreme poverty."
PKSF Managing Director Dr Nomita Halder said, "The number of extremely poor people is highest in Kurigram district and the coastal areas. Our aim is to help those who are suffering due to malnutrition and child labour, and persons with disabilities. Besides, we also aim to help people of the third gender. PKSF believes in quality service delivery at the lowest possible cost.
"Poverty rate in Bangladesh was 59% in 1991, which came down to 21.8% in 2018. At the same time, the number of people living in extreme poverty fell from 43% to 11.9%. In this development journey, PKSF is working as a complementary force of the government," said Dr Nomita Halder referring to a study report at a programme in November on occasion of its 32nd foundation anniversary.
Dr Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, general manager (programme) of PKSF and director of PPEPP, was also present at the signing ceremony.