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DHAKA - The Bangladesh government is to provide laid-off garment workers with 3,000 taka (US$35) a month for three months, in a relief programme backed by the European Union and Germany to the tune of €113 million (US$134m).

Workers laid off from factories in the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exports Assocation (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exports Assocation (BKMEA), Leathergoods And Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) or Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leathergoods and Footwear Exporters' Association (BFLLFEA) are eligible for the cash.

The money - equivalent to slightly more than a third of garment workers' usual wage in Bangladesh - will be a vital lifeline to impoverished workers who have lost their livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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