United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh and United Enterprises & Co Ltd (UECL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to aid collaborative response during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MoU was signed on Wednesday by UNDP Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee and Managing Director of UECL Moinuddin Hasan Rashid at the latter's office.
"The most important thing is the coming together of two important players which share a joint commitment to respond to this [COVID-19] crisis," Sudipto said at the signing.
He pointed out that although COVID-19 might not have a very high death toll its collateral impacts are likely to create much greater socioeconomic hardships.
"The increased risks of losing jobs and income, inability to easily access essential services including normal medical care in hospitals are some of the hardships that will disproportionately affect the poor", Sudipto added.
" So what we are trying to do is to make things easier for the people to follow the public order – which is to stay home and prevent the virus from spreading and therefore this partnership will deliver food at the doorsteps of the poor households."
UECL Managing Director Rashid pointed out that as an organisation, most of their entities are related to providing service to the people.
"First the hospital, second the supermarkets, then we have a pharmacy chain. Our port is in operation since the government has instructed to ensure that the food supply is on time."
Under the MoU, UNDP and UECL will collaborate in providing emergency support to vulnerable communities during national crisis/climatic disasters.
They will also support the government in enhancing capacities and competencies of state-run health facilities and the doctors and caregivers at the government health complexes.
At the same time, the cooperation will seek to advocate and direct establishment of proper medical waste disposal systems in Bangladesh.
Under the agreement, UNDP and UECL will also work together to provide skills training for underprivileged youth and women and look for opportunities for creating decent employment to achieve the SDGs in longer term.
Among others Chaity Rezwana, Md Abdul Quayyum, Debashis Roy, Joytish Talukder from UNDP, Brig Gen AJM Fazlur Rahman, Ndc, Psc, Executive Director, United Trust and other Directors from UECL were present.