Sweden and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh will be continuing their partnership to create economic opportunities for ultra-poor rural women in Bangladesh.
In lieu of the decision, a cost-sharing agreement was signed at the Swedish Embassy office in Dhaka on 03 July to extend the Swedish embassy and UNDP Bangladesh's flagship project 'Strengthening Women's Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO II)' until 2025.
Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh and Christine Johansson, Chargé d'Affaires a.i, Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka, signed the cost-sharing agreement on behalf of their respective sides to sustain their journey of empowering underprivileged women in Bangladesh.
Christine Johansson said, "The Swedish Embassy has been working closely with Bangladesh. The engagement and continuous support from the government for project SWAPNO gives us extra confidence to move forward with this phase and shows how it can be replicated for further development."
"Sweden's collaboration with SWAPNO has been proven as an effective partnership that has brought substantial changes in the lives of rural women. Extension of the partnership will maximize the benefits that SWAPNO offers in other vulnerable districts of Bangladesh," Sudipto Mukerjee said during the signing.
The extension of the SWAPNO project is effective from 30 June 2022.
In the earlier phase, the project has aided economically disadvantaged women in developing their talents, linking them to services and the local market, and ensuring their financial inclusion.
Realising the success, the Embassy of Sweden has come forward to uplift 10,000 extremely poor and vulnerable women from 10 poverty-prone and climate-vulnerable districts from poverty.
According to the latest independent evaluation report of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), SWAPNO empowers women in a way that has far-reaching implications in terms of facilitating distressed women's active engagement in local development activities and offering social support and recognition.
Among others, Ikramul H. Sohel, National Programme Officer, Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka, Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, Kajal Chatterjee, National Project Manager of SWAPNO project, were present during the signing ceremony.