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U.S. Funds Improvements Programs in Bangladesh, Skips Factory Safety

The second Bangladesh-U.S. Partnership Dialogue adjourned yesterday in Dhaka, ending on a “positive note,” despite recent tension between U.S. retailers and labor rights organizations in Bangladesh, according to textile consultants Fibre2Fashion. Wendy Sherman, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque co-chaired the dialogue.

Both parties praised robust bilateral ties between the two countries, and reaffirmed their commitment to partnership. As part of two initiatives from President Obama, the U.S. has created a $2 million program to improve the detection and treatment of deadly tuberculosis in Bangladesh, and given an $8 million award to the World Bank, who are tasked with expanding Bangladesh’s solar energy use.

The U.S. is also funding a comprehensive measurement of black carbon, or soot, emissions in industrial sites in Bangladesh; a three-year, $7 million program to address poverty and poor nutrition in southern Bangladesh; and a $1 million U.S. assistance program for law enforcement capacity building to combat transnational crime and terrorism.

Notably, no initiatives regarding factory safety or sourcing transparency from U.S. companies were mentioned.

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