New York, NY - At its second annual Members’ Meeting, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) today elected Tapan Chowdhury, founder of Square Textiles Limited and former president of the Dhaka Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Simone Sultana, chair of BRAC UK, to serve on its board of directors.
“The Alliance Board is focused on more strategic engagement in the coming years of the Alliance, and the realignment of the board to include the members elected today reflects this focus,” said The Honorable Ellen Tauscher, independent board chair of the Alliance. “Tapan Chowdhury is a respected leader in Bangladesh and brings valuable government and private sector experience, across a wide spectrum of industries including the ready-made garment sector to the Alliance Board. Simone Sultana is a valued Alliance partner and will assist us in ensuring that the Alliance-BRAC association continues its groundbreaking efforts to provide direct support to factory workers in Bangladesh. We are very pleased to have both of them join the Alliance board of directors.”
The Alliance also elected two new members to its board of advisors, including Rumee Ali, former Managing Director of BRAC Enterprises & Investments; and Vidiya Amrit Khan, Director of Desh Garments Ltd. and Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). The Alliance board of advisors provides expertise and counsel to the Alliance board of directors and senior leadership, and the Membership relies on their guidance and counsel to inform their efforts to bring about safe working conditions for garment factory workers in Bangladesh.
More information on Alliance leadership can be found here.
For Immediate Release: Contact: Guillermo Meneses
$50 million to be provided to Bangladesh banks to increase lending to factory owners
Washington, D.C.—The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) has brokered a first-of-its-kind agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help suppliers finance factory repairs. Through the resulting credit facility, the IFC will provide USD $10 million each to five Bangladeshi banks—USD $50 million total—for affordable loans to factory owners making necessary safety repairs.
May 13, 2015—On April 25, 2015, an M7.9 Himalayan earthquake centered roughly 80 km northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal was felt throughout parts of South Asia. Alliance staff felt the tremors in Dhaka, located approximately 700 km from the epicenter, and took immediate steps to assess any potential structural damage to garment factories that may have resulted from the aftershocks.
Today a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,000 people. The aftershocks of this massive earthquake were felt across Nepal, Bangladesh, India and other parts of South Asia. I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to the people of Nepal and the families of the victims.
For millions of people, the Bangladesh garment industry is the path to a better life. Not only a path to earning a living, but also providing their families and their country unprecedented economic opportunities. The spirit and resilience of the women and men working in ready-made garment (RMG) factories has spurred unprecedented growth in the sector and Bangladesh’s economy. This growth has laid the groundwork for Bangladesh to reach new levels of development that would not have otherwise been possible.
The changes in Bangladesh—brought about by tragedy—have transformed the global RMG industry. Now there are common goals when it comes to safety standards, worker safety and worker rights. The RMG industry will be forever changed by the developments in Bangladesh and the unprecedented public-private partnerships focused on the worker.
In July 2013, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) was formed to ensure that no garment worker would have to choose between safe working conditions and a paycheck. I am extremely proud of the efforts undertaken by the Alliance and member companies to improve the safety of RMG factories, ensuring every garment factory is inspected, every employee is trained and empowered, and remediation is undertaken by every factory owner.
Although there is much more work to be done, I want to take this opportunity to highlight the Alliance’s major achievements since 2013 and our priorities for this year...
Last year, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced that her vision for the Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) sector was to reach $50bn in exports by 2021. It is an important and ambitious goal for a nation that has worked hard to develop a brighter economic future. With the RMG sector accounting for 81 per cent of Bangladesh’s overall exports, reaching such a milestone could help the nation substantially reduce poverty and strengthen economic outcomes for millions of people.
The Alliance expresses our sincere condolences to the victims of today’s earthquake in Nepal that has also resulted in the loss of life, injuries and structural damage in neighboring countries, including Bangladesh...
April 24, 2015 marks the second anniversary of the collapse of Rana Plaza, in which 1,134 garment workers lost their lives to an unspeakable tragedy. We pause today to remember the victims and their families—and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that no garment worker in Bangladesh has to risk his or her life to make a living.
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2015
Dhaka, Bangladesh—The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety today announced the appointment of fire safety expert Mark Chubb to serve as chief safety officer. In this role, he will oversee fire safety operations and training in Bangladesh and guide remediation efforts in all factories from which Alliance Members source.
“Mark will ensure that the Alliance continues to bring world-class expertise to factory remediation and fire safety programs for Bangladesh garment workers,” said Alliance Independent Chair Ellen Tauscher. “His role as an advisor will be critical to factories from which the Alliance sources, as they ensure compliance with our strict standards.”
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- Statement on the Second Anniversary of the Fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd.
- Alliance Security Guard Training Press Release
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- BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER (BPC) ISSUES JOINT LETTER COMMENDING ALLIANCE FOR BANGLADESH WORKER SAFETY ON ‘IMPRESSIVE’ RECORD
- Findings of Independent Review of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Indicate Major Progress
- Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and NFPA Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Strengthen Safety in Bangladesh Garment Factories
- The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Annual Report
- Fighting Fire Through Training video