In order to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19, Citibank NA has contributed Tk2.28 crore to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh.
The contribution has supported the distribution of food and hygiene kits through the Strengthening Women's Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO) project in Bangladesh, reaching close to 9,000 marginalised women, according to a press release.
As a key social security project of the Local Government Division of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, SWAPNO aims to tackle the impacts of Covid-19, cyclonic storm Amphan and the recent floods that have plunged the coastal areas into a humanitarian and financial crisis.
With Citi's support, nearly 9,000 women from 5,252 families in Kurigram and 3,744 families in Shatkhira have received urgently needed food and hygiene packages, it adds.
This contribution is part of Citi's ongoing partnership with UNDP in Asia Pacific, which has strengthened further in 2020. UNDP, which works to eradicate poverty, partnered with Citi to raise crucial funds over the course of the year in the fight against Covid-19.
This programme is supported by Citi Asia Pacific's commitment of US$1 million of trading revenue to UNDP through an employee-led initiative by several businesses under Markets and Securities Services.
Businesses such as Regional Cash Equities, Rates and Currencies, and Corporate Sales and Solutions were part of this initiative, reads the statement.
The bank also donated US$500,000 as part of the Double the Good employee donation campaign, where for every $1 donated by a Citi employee in support of Covid-19 relief, Citi donated $1 to UNDP as the selected organisation for the region.
"Our partnership with UNDP has provided important support to communities across Asia Pacific. I am proud that thousands of Citi colleagues have joined in this partnership, making a real difference to people in need during a challenging time. We look forward to our continued collaboration with UNDP," said Peter Babej, Citi Asia Pacific CEO, according to the statement.
N Rajashekaran, Citi Country Officer- Bangladesh said, "Enabling progress in communities we serve is in our mission statement. During these challenging times, we are responding to the urgent needs of our communities, including those who are less privileged, and remain committed to support the strong economic growth of Bangladesh. We would like to extend our gratitude to our colleagues, UNDP, Local Government Division of People's Republic of Bangladesh and community partners for sustainable implementation of this program."
The work with UNDP builds on the successful Youth Co:Lab programme, which is part of the bank's global Pathways to Progress initiative.
Co-created by the UNDP and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab is the largest youth social entrepreneurship movement in Asia Pacific.
Since its inception, it has been positioning young people front and center to solve the region's most pressing challenges and building up an ecosystem to connect them with incubators, accelerators and investors to turn solutions into viable business models, it adds.
"The necessity of cooperation between the private sector and the development and public sectors cannot be overstated. Businesses hold immense power in today's world, and it is imperative that their energies and resources are harnessed to maximise their contribution to the Agenda 2030" said Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh.
He continued, "Citi has played an important role in promoting young entrepreneurs with a vision for a more sustainable planet through Youth Co:Lab already. Now, as the world changes and adapts to Covid-19, Citi is supporting the groups who need our help the most. Their commitment to social good alongside sustainable business practices has made them a mutually reinforcing partner for the UNDP while also setting a good example for other private sector organisations," according to the statement.