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Primark, DFID deal to improve garment workers' lives
Jan '16
UK fashion retailer Primark has announced the start of a new partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) to improve working conditions for garment workers in developing markets.

The partnership will combine the presence, networks and expertise of both organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of local workers, bolster national economic development and help alleviate poverty in five of Primark's key markets which DFID also works in: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, Ethiopia and India, Primark said in a press release.

From providing gender equality training in garment factories to training female nurses, a large part of the programme will focus on creating positive change for women working in the developing world. The fashion and textile industries are the second largest employer after agriculture in developing markets, employing many female workers. Research shows providing these women with education and training is a driver of positive benefits for their families and wider communities in which they work.

The UK Government is leading global efforts to improve the rights and wellbeing of girls and women. DFID is working to improve the lives of girls and women in every area of its international development work, from education to maternal and child health, from personal safety and security to economic and political empowerment.

Together, Primark and DFID will concentrate on achieving transformative change across three key areas, namely, Women's Economic Empowerment, Market development and Disaster response.

Paul Lister, responsible for Primark's Ethical Trading Team and the Rt Hon Desmond Swayne, Minister of State at DFID, signed the Letter of Intent between the two organisations.

“At Primark, we are committed to ensuring that the people who make our products work in good conditions, are treated properly and paid a fair wage. That's why we now have more than 60 people working for our Ethical Trade Team across our supply chain to ensure our high standards are met,” Lister said.

“Our new partnership with DFID recognises the strength and depth of the work we have been doing across our supply chain. But, most importantly, it will help us use our expertise and resources already on the ground, to accelerate the impact of our programmes. In doing so, we are confident we will be able to make an even bigger difference,” he added. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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