Bangladesh’s Joint Programme (JP) for Integrated Social Protection was designed to enhance social protection for female tea garden workers and their families in Sylhet Division. Reducing stunting, child marriage and the maternal mortality ratio, while ensuring birth registration for children under 5-years-old and the completion of primary education, have all been targeted to achieve this goal.
Over its first six months, the JP has been successful in many areas. It has formed a Task Team with the UN RCO and Project Coordinator. Partner UN organizations have met with the Tea Association and Tea Garden Workers Union to strengthen coordination and inform their advocacy efforts with local government. The Tea Garden Worker database has been launched online for conducting studies and monitoring implementation progress.
The JP repurposed up to 20% of funding for COVID-related activities. The team has conducted policy advocacy with key stakeholders to ensure Tea Garden Workers’ health and social protection in the context of the pandemic. UN Women has incorporated a gender perspective into its socio-economic impact assessment of COVID-19, so as to identify the risks and vulnerabilities of female tea garden workers in particular. With esteemed efforts from ILO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women, the JP in Bangladesh has already made great strides towards ensuring social protection for the tea garden community in Sylhet Division.