LRL: PKSF’s special loan program to combat Covid-19 fallout

Like in other countries around the world, economic activities in Bangladesh are also taking a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced short-, medium- and long-term stimulus packages to keep the economic activities functional and thereby to improve the lives and livelihoods of the people. Notable among them is a stimulus package of BDT 500 crore sanctioned in favor of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). With this fund received from the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), PKSF is implementing a specialized and flexible loan program titled Livelihood Restoration Loan (LRL).

LRL aims to revive the economic activities of the poor affected by Covid-19, including creation of self-employment opportunities. Under this program, PKSF is providing loan assistance through Partner Organizations (POs) to generate self-employment and rejuvenate the economic activities of the following five pandemic-hit groups in the rural areas:

  • Agriculture and related small entrepreneurs,
  • Small and cottage industry-related entrepreneurs,
  • Trained youth,
  • Unemployed youth, and
  • Returning migrant workers.

With sincere support of the Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance, PKSF received the BDT 500 crore stimulus fund in two instalments — BDT 250 crore on 23 August 2020 and BDT 250 crore on 4 February 2021. PKSF disbursed the fund swiftly among 127 selected POs, which in turn have already completed disbursement of the fund among the affected poor people in their respective working areas. The rapid disbursement of the loan assistance among those truly affected by Covid-19 has been possible as PKSF has strong ties with its POs across the country

This loan is high in demand at the field level, as it immensely helps revive the struggling economic activities of poor entrepreneurs. To meet the growing demand, PKSF has sanctioned a loan of BDT 100 crore form its own fund, the disbursement of which is now underway.