A team from the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh visited the newly launched PPEPP-EU project’s working areas in the northern region of Bangladesh. The visiting delegation, comprising Nicholas Marville, Finance and Contracts Manager, and Meher Nigar Bhuiyan, Programme Manager of Resilient Livelihoods, was in Thakurgaon, Nilphamari and Rangpur districts from 6-8 June 2023 to observe the project’s activities firsthand.
This is the first visit by an EU delegation to the PPEPP-EU project area since field activities began in October 2022 with direct funding from the European Union.
Dr Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, Project Director of PPEPP-EU, Tanvir Sultana, Deputy General Manager of PKSF and Deputy Project Director of PPEPP-EU, other officials of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) at PKSF and Executive Directors of partner organisations concerned accompanied the EU delegation.
PPEPP-EU covers some 215,000 extremely poor households in 145 unions of 12 districts and provides support around resilient livelihoods, inclusive finance, nutrition and primary healthcare, women empowerment leading to gender equality, disability inclusion, disaster & climate-resilience and community mobilisation.
During the visit, members of Prosperity Village Committees (PVC), especially of the ethnic minority households, shared how the project’s interventions are positively changing their lives and livelihoods and how they are overcoming the challenges towards their pathway to prosperity. Members of various forums and clubs formed under the project spoke of their awareness about various social and familial norms impeding their economic growth.
The EU delegation witnessed as to how the project members started their journey with the PPEPP-EU project, how they adopted and diversified their livelihoods, improved their health and nutrition practices, and how the project is helping them avail various public services. They visited various income-generating activities such as poultry and goat rearing, small businesses like mat making and ‘Pitha’ making, fish farming, tailoring, and bamboo craft making. In Nilphamari, they handed over assistive devices to the members of a disability forum following an engaging discussion with them.
The delegation engaged in separate discussions with the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Thakurgaon Sadar, the UP Chairman and other local-level government officials Mirgonj Union of Jaldhaka Upazila about ensuring access of the project’s target households to various government services.
The EU delegation appreciated the progress made and assured of continued cooperation, including advocacy at the government level so that the target households can exit extreme poverty.