EU contributes EUR 2 million to strengthening social security in Bangladesh

Flags of European Union and BangladeshFile photo

The European Union (EU) has transferred EUR 2 million (around BDT 20 crore) to the Government of Bangladesh to strengthen key areas of its social security system with a specific focus on strengthening institutional set-up, the overall monitoring and evaluation framework of the social security services, introduction of a nutrition sensitive child benefit programme and ensuring an improved social security framework for workers.

The European Consensus for Development enshrines the commitment from both the EU and its member states to promote “adequate and sustainable social protection”. With the proactive political commitment of the Bangladesh government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to ‘leave no-one behind’, the EU has been a committed development and humanitarian partner to Bangladesh since 1973. The EU supports the Government of Bangladesh to implement its national social security reform agenda with the ultimate aim to streamline social protection services and to reach out to vulnerable communities, with a special emphasis on the Child Benefit Programme and workers at risk in the export-oriented sector and as such to contribute to Bangladesh’s overall development goals. A EUR 247 million budget support programme is in place since 2019 to support the reform activities of the national social security strategy (NSSS).

Budget support is a means of delivering effective aid and durable results for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Budget support is directly linked to reforms and developmental results. This ensures development of effective systems to collect information on results, to monitor progress, and evaluate impact, based on which the sectoral reform process in funded. It also aims to strengthen the capacity of the partner country in the implementation of the policy and public finance systems, also in improving the accountability of the government towards its citizens.

The EU Ambassador, Charles Whiteley, saidWe encourage the government to ensure an appropriate social protection system and measures that protect those who are in need. Beyond the immediate Covid-19 response initiated by Team Europe, this programme represents a concrete first step towards the longer-term objective to establish an adequate and sustainable social security system. The EU and its Member States are committed to support efforts to establish adequate and sustainable social security for workers, with the shared objectives to protect lives and livelihoods.

The disbursement of this payment comes after a positive decision of the Budget Support Steering Committee (SSC) of the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development in July 2022.