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Monday 20th
posted by Morning Star in World

BANGLADESH’S garment industry guardedly welcomed Italian retailer Benetton’s pledge of more than $1 million to victims of the Rana Plaza collapse at the weekend.

The collapse killed over 1,100 people two years ago and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Shahidullah Azim said that, although the contribution had come late, it was still appreciated.

He said the money would help the UN-sponsored compensation fund to reach its commitment to provide $30m (£20m) to the survivors of the Rana Plaza tragedy — Bangladesh’s worst industrial disaster.

“It has come late, but we appreciate it,” Mr Azim said. “It will help us fulfill our commitment to the victims.”

The Benetton Group had announced on Friday it would provide $1.1m (£735,000) to compensate the survivors of the collapse.

The retail giant was among 29 brands connected to the factories in the complex.

Mr Azim said the Rana Plaza Trust Fund, headed by the UN labour agency, had already distributed $23m (£15m) to victims of the disaster.

“Benetton’s contribution is part of it and I am sure other companies will also fulfill their commitment to reach the target of $30m,” he said.

Rana Plaza, an illegally built, multistorey building outside Dhaka, housed five garment factories when it collapsed on April 24 2013, killing 1,127 people and injuring another 2,500.

Bangladesh has 5,000 garment factories and four million garment workers, mostly women.

The country rakes in more than $20 billion (£13bn) a year from garment exports.

By Our Foreign Desk