Recently, icddr,b and Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen icddr,b's ongoing Covid-19 emergency response, according to a press statement.
At a time, when the entire world is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and international resources are channelled to global efforts to fight this pandemic, icddr,b made an appeal to local community for support to its Covid-19 emergency response.
According to the agreement, the Unilever Bangladesh will provide USD52,000 cash support for personal protective equipment to icddr,b's clinical laboratory services, and establishment of a temporary patient care facility.
Additionally, Unilever Bangladesh will provide its health and hygiene products, medical and lab equipment, and Covid-19 testing kit to icddr,b, the press release reads.
Unilever Bangladesh has already pledged Tk200 million to help the nation in its fight against Covid-19. The commitment includes measures such as product donations, creating awareness, improving health infrastructure, protecting its people and livelihoods.
As part of the commitment and desire to support the philanthropic initiatives of icddr,b, Unilever Bangladesh came up with a mixed approach of cash and in kind support to icddr,b.
The icddr,b has already been contributing to the plans and actions of the government of Bangladesh in its Covid-19 response through providing free of charge testing support, disease surveillance, strengthening of laboratory capacity, and technical assistance among others.
It is also implementing the global best practices and safety protocols for its own care givers, researchers and staff for ensuring the continuity of its free of charge diarrhoeal disease treatment and other essential research activities even during the ongoing global pandemic.
Moreover, as part of the icddr,b's commitment to solve public health challenges, it is also planning on interventions and epidemiological research related to Covid-19, the press release adds.
On the occasion, icddr,b's Executive Director Professor John D Clemens said, "While we brace for the impact of Covid-19, I would like to thank Unilever Bangladesh for their gracious support to us. It is our honour to serve the people of Bangladesh during this unparalleled time of need. Together, we will weather the storm."
Kedar Lele, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Ltd said, "It is our responsibility to reach out to as many people as possible and help them in their fight against the virus. Considering the scale of the challenge and in order to address it at multiple levels, we are collaborating with the government, health institutions, implementation partners and civil society."
"We believe this is the beginning of a new partnership to save essential lives and will help continue icddr,b in their effort to reduce the Covid-19 pandemic impact," Kedar Lele added.