The U.S. Department of Labor is offering a competitive $2.5 million grant to fund fire and building improvements in Bangladesh. The grant, from the DOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, follows a string of deadly tragedies in Bangladesh’s factories.
International pressure has increased as Bangladesh tries to make significant improvements in fire and building safety. The Rana Plaza building collapse in April killed 1,129 people and inflamed international observers.
The DOL is supporting these efforts. In a statement, they said, “In recent months, the government of Bangladesh, industry, worker and civil society organizations and other groups have engaged in stepped-up efforts to address fire and building safety concerns. The government and other stakeholders, however, have a great deal of additional work to do in order to implement existing and developing plans.”
The grant will go to fund one or more recipients who can strengthen Bangladeshi government efforts to enforce building safety and fire standards. The grant also seeks to empower worker organizations to assist in monitoring garment industry hazards.