‘Rebuilding hazardous factories to take years’ BD needs global support: NY study

UNB, Dhaka :
It will take years to repair and rebuild the most hazardous factories in Bangladesh and cost hundreds of millions of dollars that necessitate international community’s support to accomplish, suggests an international report.
“Due to the absence of infusion of significant international support, we’re destined to see recurring tragedies in Bangladesh which represent a growing threat to the long-term sustainability of its garment industry,” the report says in its recommendations to the international donor community.
The study report, titled ‘Business as Usual is not an Option’, was released on Monday by New York University’s Stern School of Business.
As Bangladesh is set to mark the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy on Thursday (April 24), this is a propitious time for the international community to convene a major donors’ conference on factory safety and critical infrastructure in Bangladesh, the report suggests.
The effort to build a functional infrastructure will require still greater resources, the report says recommending that it is unfathomable that the government of Bangladesh and the private sector can do this alone and the international community – foreign governments, the World Bank and other multilateral institutions – need to step up as well.
“We believe that it’s possible to see a different future, where the garment industry continues to grow and compete by producing large volumes of clothing in a timely manner at competitive prices and where workers enjoy safety in the workplace.
As the Rana Plaza disaster marks the first anniversary all need to pursue the future of Bangladesh,
the report mentions in its recommendations. The report is based on a yearlong effort by the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU Stern School of Business.
Sarah Labowitz, the co-director of the Center, conducted two fact-finding missions to Bangladesh in July 2013 and again in February 2014.
Auret van Heerden, former President of the Fair Labor Association and one of the architects of the Better Work program in Cambodia, and Raymond Bonner, author and former foreign correspondent for the New York Times and the New Yorker also visited Bangladesh on the Center’s behalf in the summer of 2013.