Germany's €14.5 mn to ILO to aid COVID-hit garment workers

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The German ministry for economic cooperation and development (BMZ) is giving €14.5 million to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) multi-donor programme to help garment sector workers hit by COVID-19 in seven countries. The initiative will provide cash transfers and personal protective equipment (PPE) and raise awareness on occupational safety and health (OSH).

It will also provide policy advice on social protection and OSH, with the aim of building peoples’ resilience to future shocks. This approach links work to meet immediate humanitarian needs with that of building longer term, sustainable solutions that are part of national policy frameworks, said an ILO press release.

The programme’s integrated strategy aims to assist both workers and private sector businesses rebuild their economic activities, mitigate further interruptions in the supply chain and provide direct support to garment sector workers, especially women in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar and Vietnam.

The initiative will build on the country level activities of three existing ILO areas of work—the Vision Zero Fund (VZF), social protection and the Better Work Programme –making use of their existing local networks and operations.

The programme will also support the practical implementation of the Call to Action in the Global Garment Industry. By helping to coordinate public and private sector responses to the pandemic the project also contributes to the overall efficiency and coherence of responses to the crisis.