A grant of £3,000 to help victims and rescue teams in Bangladeshi disaster

The Methodist Church has agreed to send a grant of £3,000 to the Church of Bangladesh as rescue workers continue to respond to the tragedy in Savar, Bangladesh.

Hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured when Rana Plaza - an eight storey building at Savar Bazar - collapsed last week. The building contained four garments factories as well as a number of shopping centres and offices.

Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, said: "The recent tragedy at Savar follows many others, including a fire last year in a garment factory not far away where 125 people lost their lives. The tragedy lies not only in the number of lives lost, people injured and families which have lost their livelihood, but also in the vulnerability of the thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh who have no choice but to work in perilous working conditions which threaten their health and lives every day."

Rescue teams retrieved 370 bodies and freed 2,500 injured and sick people from the debris.  The Church of Bangladesh supplied mineral waters, masks, air-fresheners and dry food to rescue team workers. The grant will enable the Church to continue to support the people involved in the rescue effort.

Bishop Paul Sarker, Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh, said: "Bangladesh economy is mainly developing because of the garments factories and migrant labors in overseas," continued Bishop Paul Sarker. "It is so sad that those who are contributing so much for economic development of our nation the leaders are not taking care of them but enjoy the fruits of their hard work and life!"

 Steve Pearce continued: "Much of the clothing we buy and wear is made by workers who are paid very little so that our clothes are cheap. The least we can do is check that our retailers are using the influence they have over their suppliers to make sure that working conditions are healthy and safe. The workers themselves can do little to influence things as can be clearly seen in this tragedy. So when you have bought your new clothes, write a letter so that retailers here know we care about the workers who produced them."



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