Bangladesh launches 100-day job scheme for poor

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh on Monday launched a 100-day employment programme to help two million poor families affected by floods and other natural disasters.

Under the 2.0 billion taka ($29.20 million) programme, one member of a family can be employed at 100 taka a day for up to 100 days to dig canals, build embankments, or clean ponds. Bangladeshi families on average have five members.

“People affected by floods, droughts and other natural calamities will be eligible to get employment in the infrastructure development works,” M. M. Sawkat Ali, adviser to interim government and in-charge of Food and Disaster Management Ministry, told a news conference.

Floods affected two million people this year while twin floods and Cyclone Sidr together killed some 4,500 people last year and destroyed 3.0 million food crops and infrastructure worth billions of dollars.

Only 20 days of a month will count as working days under the programme, which will run for five months, Sawkat said.

Anyone enlisted in the programme who could not immediately be given work would receive 40 taka daily for the first 30 days and 50 taka daily after that, for up to a maximum of 100 days.

Poor people already covered by other governmental social safety programmes would not be eligible for the 100-day programme, Sawkat said.

Non-governmental organisation and village leaders will be involved in selecting the people who will benefit from the 100-day employment projects.