3,000 victim families of Rana Plaza tragedy to get ILO assistance



Dhaka, April 23, 2014
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has started distributing financial assistance to the families of the victims of Rana Plaza building collapse.

"With two persons yesterday, the ILO started distribution of money...a total of 3,000 family members of the victims of Rana Plaza tragedy will get the financial support," M Atiqul Islam, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told BSS today.

Islam said the mobile financial service bKash is being used in the distribution of the financial assistance.

ILO has so far mobilized US$16m out of its requirement of $40m for the Workers Welfare Fund.

Of the $16m, British clothing retailer Primark gave $9m and the rest seven million US dollars came from other international brands.

Nazma Akter, President of Sammilito Garment Sramik Federation (SGSF), however, termed, the financial support as only donation but not compensation.

"We'll call it compensation when it is in line with the law considering irreparable loss of garment workers," Nazma told the news agency.

"We wanted to make sure a fund of $40m under the initiative of buyers, apparel makers and the government but we could not do so," said Nazma.

The labour leader urged all the stakeholders including the government to provide compensation to the victims as soon as possible.

Rana Plaza, an eight-storey commercial building housing several garment factories, collapsed on April 24, killing 1,135 people and maiming numerous others, mostly garment workers.

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