Dhaka, 8 October 2022 (TDI): Alex Berg von Linde, Ambassador of Sweden to Bangladesh, and Daniel Novak, the First Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka visited the Duaripara slum. This slum is an older and low-priced housing arrangement. It is located in the northwest of Dhaka.

A Duaripara slum is an urban-residential place that consisted of low-quality buildings and over-crowded housing units. It is commonly associated with poverty due to the lack of and deteriorated infrastructure. Underprivileged people usually reside in such areas.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the world food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Bangladesh (FAO), and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) collectively executed an innovative Building Block technology in this area.

Building Block Technology

The initiative primarily seeks to improve menstrual health in Dhaka slums. Prevention of child marriages is also a part of the project. The contributing agencies disseminate relevant information. They also distribute menstrual pads. An application named “Building Blocks” was launched to complete the transaction. The enrolled shopkeepers of the project have this application on their mobile phones.

UNFPA and its collaborators monitor the whole process through blockchain technology, employed by the application. Blockchain technology allows the verification of transactions, the production of invoices, and payment records. The option of edition or deletion isn’t available to ensure transparency.

The project facilitates adolescent girls and women of reproductive age in the Duaripara slum. The targeted population collects menstrual pads and unconditional cash remunerations. The project assists them to improve their Menstrual Hygiene and Nutrition.

Also, read: UNFPA works to support family planning

Contribution of Sweden

In his visit to the Duaripara slum, the Ambassador and First Secretary engaged with the beneficiary community consisting of women and girls. They all were receiving sanitary pads, food items, and information materials regularly.

The administration of the area expressed gratitude to the Ambassador and her fellow. They also appreciated the Embassy of Sweden for their generous financing of the Blockchain technology project. Both parties intended to continue the mutual efforts for the development of Sexual and Reproductive health and rights of Bengali people.