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Sustainable intervention is our commitment: Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton

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RAJSHAHI, SEPTEMBER 07 (2019): Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman (Liton) has underscored the need for ensuring sustainability in development interventions for urban poverty reduction.

“There had been a number of poverty reduction initiatives and interventions in the past which were not sustainable,” the Mayor said adding, “We should keep in mind those previous mistakes and ensure sustainability in the current development works.”

The Mayor was addressing the inception ceremony of Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP) at the City Hall Conference Room, Nagar Bhaban here on Saturday.

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The Local Government Division (LGD), Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development & Cooperatives (MoLGRD&C)- with financial and technical support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Government of Bangladesh and the Department for International Development (DFID) - launched this national project to reduce urban poverty.

The project aims to contribute to balanced, sustainable growth by reducing urban poverty in Bangladesh and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 that call for ‘leaving no one behind’.

The project is designed to reach first the unserved and underserved urban population in Bangladesh. It aims to promote livelihoods and living conditions of up to 4 million poor people living in urban areas in up to 36 City Corporations and Paurashavas (12 City Corporations and 24 Class A Paurashavas) including Rajshahi City Corporation. In project interventions, women and peoples with disabilities will get priority.

Shaugatul Alam, Chief Executive Officer of RCC chaired the event while Shahin Akhter Reni, eminent social worker, Abdul Mannan, National Project Director of LIUPCP and a joint-secretary, Ekramul Kabir, National Project Manager, LIUPCP, Md Shariful Islam Babu, Panel Mayor of RCC, Md Nizam Ul Azim, Councilor of Ward 21, RCC, and Md. Noor Islam, Executive Engineer and member secretary of LIUPCP at RCC also spoke. Mohammad Iqbal Hossain made a presentation on the project to be implemented at RCC.

Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman (Liton) said Rajshahi city had been neglected in terms of industrialisation with only a few and very weak industries. “The loss-making industries were far from ensuring employment for nearly a million people. Rajshahi city became a city of shopping stores and contract business with no large scale-industry,” he said.

“There is a hefty amount savings generated by the poor but organised people. We would like to introduce a city corporation-based banking system with the savings and credit schemes being implemented here that will support the poor people to come out of poverty,” he said.

Shaugatul Alam, Chief Executive Officer of RCC, said the city corporation do whatever it can do to ensure effective implementation of the LIUPCP in RCC so that poor people can get the maximum benefit of the project.

Eminent social worker Shahin Akhter Reni

Eminent social worker Shahin Akhter Reni said the women of Rajshahi are sincere and organised. “If development interventions are targeted toward women and their economic condition is improved, poverty will certainly reduce.”

National Project Director of LIUPCP and a joint-secretary, Abdul Mannan said DFID and UNDP joined hands with the Government to improve the livelihoods of the urban poor communities and 1.4 million households will be involved in locally-managed savings and credit schemes in project implementation areas.

National Project Director of LIUPCP and joint-secretary, Abdul Mannan

Ekramul Kabir, National Project Manager, LIUPCP urged the councilors and federation members as well as the members of community development committees to come forward and work hard for effective implementation of the project in Rajshahi. He said, “88,000 poor people will be provided with skills for employment or entrepreneurship in the project implementation areas and poor people of Rajshahi will also get its benefit.”

Ekramul Kabir, National Project Manager, LIUPCP

Initiated in 2018, LIUPC Project works in five major areas and the major activities in each area include: climate resilient housing for low-income urban poor; strengthen community organizations in informal settlements; skills and employment generation for women and girls; improve resilient infrastructure, and strengthen pro-poor urban management, policy and planning.

Md Shariful Islam Babu, Panel Mayor of RCC

Md Nizam Ul Azim, Councilor of Ward 21, RCC