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IFC Partners with ILO to Launch Better Work Program in Bangladesh, Improve Worker Safety

Sarah Karim
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Emmy Markoglou

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IFC Partners with ILO to Launch Better Work Program in Bangladesh, Improve Worker Safety

Washington, D.C., 22 October, 2013
–IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a Better Work program to improve working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers and promote competitiveness in the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh.  

In a joint initiative with the International Labour Organization (ILO), Better Work Bangladesh will provide factory-level services, including assessments of compliance with national labor laws and international standards, and advisory and training services that will dramatically improve working conditions for Bangladeshi garment workers. Building on the model of other Better Work country programs, Better Work Bangladesh will be a partnership with the government, employers, unions, buyers, and other industry stakeholders whose goal is to promote sustainable change in the sector by helping factories improve working conditions and building capacity for labor administration and industrial relations.

“The launch of Better Work will have a transformative impact on the lives of thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh, particularly those of women,” said Usha Rao-Monari, Director, IFC Sustainable Business Advisory. “By helping to improve working conditions in the ready-made garment factories, Better Work Bangladesh will not just put people first but will also improve productivity, safeguard jobs and investment, and promote sector growth.”  

In the spirit of this partnership, the government of Bangladesh and Better Work have agreed to link the continuation of the program to progress made on specific commitments, as laid out in a “Framework for Continuous Improvement.” This progress will be reviewed annually by Better Work, in cooperation with the government.

“The government and industry stakeholders in Bangladesh have signaled their commitment to make decent work opportunities a reality,” said Better Work Director Dan Rees. “We look forward to engaging actively with all partners to demonstrably improve working conditions and support long-term competitiveness of the industry.”

Better Work Bangladesh will be funded by the governments of Switzerland and the United States, and through the ILO’s ready-made garment program by the governments of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The Better Work global program is funded by the governments of Australia, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

About Better Work

Launched in 2007, Better Work is a unique partnership program between ILO and IFC that seeks to improve labor standards compliance in global supply chains, both to protect workers’ rights and to help enterprises become more competitive. The program focuses on scalable and sustainable solutions that build cooperation between governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations and international buyers. For more information, visit
For more information on Better Work Bangladesh, visit

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