Marico Bangladesh and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a MoU, on 17 February at latter's office to extend the partnership for Strengthening Women's Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO).
Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP and Ashish Goupal, managing director of Marico Bangladesh signed the MoU on behalf of the respective parties, according to a press release.
This is the third phase of partnership between the two organisations under SWAPNO project and shall remain valid till 2021.
SWAPNO is a social transfer project for ultra-poor women to be engaged in public works essential for the economic and social life for rural communities. It promotes employment, and most importantly future employability, of extreme poor rural women.
Since 2018 the SWAPNO program has resulted in 10,000 women-led households graduating out of ultra-poverty with an 83 percent rise in income and a 43 percent rise in asset ownership.
The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) has independently evaluated the program as highly promising and GoB has highlighted it as a best-in-class poverty graduation approach in the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) Action plan.
Signing the agreement, Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh said, "The partnership with Marico through SWAPNO, is helping to ensure sustainable livelihood and food security for extreme poor and vulnerable rural women."
We are using the learnings from SWAPNO in other development projects to unlock the full potential of rural women and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, Sudipto added.
We look forward to working with Marico to co-design measures for greater empowerment and capability development for the ultra-poor women both in rural and urban areas, he opined.
Ashish Goupal, managing director of Marico Bangladesh said, "Driven by Marico's core value of 'Making a Difference,' through the SWAPNO program we have enabled ultra-poor women to achieve self-sufficient and empowered lives."
"Marico and UNDP have also spear-headed the private sector dialogue on the SDGs with an objective of amplifying the private sector involvement in SDG-focused development initiatives. With the SWAPNO Project we look forward to working more closely with UNDP and the Government towards fulfilling our purpose of Making a Difference in society," added the Marico Bangladesh official.
Among others, Christabel Randolph, Director-Legal & Corporate Affairs of Marico Bangladesh, Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, Khurshid Alam, Assistant Resident Representative, Sonia Mehzabeen, Operations Manager, Ashekur Rahman, Head of Poverty and Urbanisation, Kajal Chatterjee, Project Manager -SWAPNO and Md Abdul Quayyum, Head of Communications of UNDP Bangladesh, among others, were present during the signing ceremony.