2.2 million families across Bangladesh are set to benefit from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s housing project–One House One Farm (Ektee Bari, Ektee Khamar).

The project is a poverty reduction initiative launched by the Government of Bangladesh to alleviate the plight of the destitute through income-generating activities and e-financial inclusion. The idea is to create a sustainable income for the poorest of the country through an initial investment, and a subsequent reinvestment by farmers into food production and tertiary activities.

Without a source of income these people have no purchasing power; so the project seeks to rectify that with $5 million families included by 2016 and 81,000 cooperatives established.

The project was launched in 2010 with a budget of $153 million to cover 9,640 villages and some 47,000 people. Funding after revision was increased to $400 million to cover 40,527 families. The average family income will total $130.

The households were selected through the National Statistics Institute, and the poorest areas of the country were chosen. The families will be supported for a period of two years, after which ideally they should be dependent and self-sufficient. The programme trains more than 114,000 people with investments of more than $115 million.

The Palli Sanchay Bank was established under the project. The state-funded bank will take small deposits from the families and place the money in secure savings accounts, investments and self-employment opportunities.

The government said the idea is for the families to pay back their debt through earning an income. So far there has been Tk 44.4 million deposited to the fund.

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