US70m UNFPA aid for maternal health, family planning

 United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) would provide Bangladesh with 70 million US dollars for the next five years for the maternal health and family planning activities, an UNFPA official said on Tuesday, reports BSS.

“We would give US70m to the Bangladesh government for the next five years (2012-16) for improving healthcare facilities,” Dr Nur Mohammad, Assistant Representative of UNFPA in Bangladesh, told the news agency on the sidelines of a seminar in the BGMEA conference room.
Dr Nur said four areas — maternal health, family planning, gender equality and data for development — would get paramount importance in the UNFPA’s upcoming five-year programme.
BGMEA and UNFPA jointly organized the discussion marking the World Aids Day.
BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin chaired the function while Secretary of Labour and Employment Ministry Shafique Alam Mehdi was the chief guest.
Among others, BGMEA second vice-president Siddiqur Rahman, vice-president SM Mannan Kochi, leading garment manufacturers and a host of Readymade Garment (RMG) workers attended the discussion.
Shafique said changed mindset among the people can help get rid of the HIV infection in the country.
Referring to many countries that suffered from HIV/AIDS, he said Bangladesh remains in a safe position in the South Asian subcontinent.
Mohiuddin said seminar and symposium are symbolic to raise awareness against HIV/AIDS for over 40 lakh garment workers in the labour-intensive apparel industry. “We need continuous media support to this end.”
The association has a plan to employ transgender (hijra) community and physically disabled people for bringing change in the society, the BGMEA president said adding, “We have already employed 15 transgender in different garment factories.”
Dr Nur called upon the garment workers to share their acquired knowledge on HIV/AIDS among co-workers and others in their working place.
“Women are being repressed both at their workplace and houses. This phenomenon supports HIV/AIDS in the society,” he added.
In the five-year UNFPA plan, he said, focus would be given on reducing gender-based violence in the country.
Jannatul Ferdous, a welfare officer of Titanic Products Ltd, urged the UNFPA to continue its support to check HIV/AIDS prevalence in the multi-billion dollar apparel industry.
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