Economic Empowerment of the Poorest

Clients Department for International Development (DFID)
Value £65 million
Lifecycle
2008 to 2015
Country Bangladesh

The objective of the project is to support the government of Bangladesh to achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets on income, poverty and hunger and so support over a million people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty and achieve sustainable livelihoods by 2015. 

Fund management

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) allocated £65 million over eight years (2007-2015) to establish and operate a Challenge Fund for the Economic Empowerment of the Poorest (EEP).  As part of the project team led by Harewell/Ecorys we provide technical assistance and fund management capacity throughout the lifetime of the project.

Fund aims

The Challenge Fund aims to sustainably improve the lives and livelihoods of extremely poor people by:

  • developing an understanding of the root causes of poverty (climate change and environmental disasters)
  • reducing the vulnerability and social exclusion of the extreme poor
  • promoting livelihood opportunities.

The team’s work includes the following.

  • Providing large and smaller-scale grants to NGOs in Bangladesh to implement proven and innovative approaches for reducing extreme poverty within disadvantaged groups of society.  
  • Disbursing grants to enhance a range of initiatives, including ‘employability’ prospects through skills training, access to markets and micro-finance.
  • Carrying out advocacy work around the nature, causes and solutions of extreme poverty, with a view to engaging other agents and influencing policy.
  • Supporting capacity building of human and minority rights institutions to equip them to implement and monitor anti-discrimination policy.