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Covid-19: Unilever partners with UNICEF to support Bangladesh

Under a global partnership, Unilever and UNICEF in Bangladesh are donating health and hygiene products to 25 government hospitals, 30 tea garden workers as well as to marginalised communities who lack access to hygiene products.

Unilever is supporting UNICEF’s efforts to enhance sanitation and hygiene through the donation of bar soaps to help slow the spread of coronavirus in rural communities of Bangladesh, said a press release.

UNICEF will be distributing the bar soaps through their widespread WASH programme which is working to improve the hygienic behaviour of the vulnerable community.

UNICEF, in consultation with Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), identified 25 government hospitals who are providing COVID-19 treatment all over Bangladesh for the Unilever product donation.

Of the 25 hospitals, eight, including Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait Maitree Hospital, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Mugda Medical College Hospital, are from Dhaka alone while the rest are from outside the capital.

On the other hand, tea garden workers are often among the marginalised and vulnerable members of society. They are particularly at risk during the coronavirus pandemic because they can have limited access to water, sanitation and health facilities.

UNICEF has been working with the Bangladesh Tea Association (BTA) over the years to improve tea workers’ conditions. As part of UNILEVER and UNICEF collaboration, UNICEF and BTA identified 30 tea estates and distributed cleaning and personal hygiene products for tea workers in the country.

Kedar Lele, Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Ltd, said: “It is our responsibility to reach out to as many people as possible and help them in their fight against the virus.”

“No one agency, organisation or sector can address the pandemic alone. Strategic collaboration between the public sector and businesses is critical during this crisis,” said Veera Mendonca, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Bangladesh.

Back in March, shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, Unilever introduced a wide-ranging set of measures to support global and national efforts to help tackle the spread of the virus.

Unilever has globally committed €50 million in product donation to Global Health Bodies and most of these donations are directed to UNICEF and UNHCR to help those in most need.