Protecting Garment Workers from COVID-19

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is giving €14.5 million to an International Labour Organization (ILO) multi-donor programme to help garment sector workers in seven countries who have been affected by COVID-19.

Collaborative occupational safety and health and income support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

This project supports constituents in the garment/textile supply chain in selected countries through public and private sector collaboration. The objective is two-fold: 1) To strengthen occupational safety and health (OSH) protection measures to ensure that employers, workers and their families are protected from the direct and indirect health risks of COVID-19 and that workplaces are not negatively impacted by further outbreaks due a poor management of OSH hazards; and 2) To cushion enterprises against immediate employment and income losses and compensate workers for the loss of income due to COVID-19 by providing wage subsidies and other cash transfers; and to facilitate “back to normality” by maintaining an employment relationship.


The project also supports the practical implementation of the COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry, which encourages organizations endorsing the Action to protect garment workers’ income, health and employment and support employers to survive during the COVID-19 crisis, and to work together to establish sustainable systems of social protection for a more just and resilient garment industry.

The OSH component is operational in seven countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar and Vietnam and managed by the Vision Zero Fund, in collaboration with Better Work. The wage subsidy component is managed by the Social Protection Department of the ILO and is operational in five of the seven countries (except in Madagascar and Vietnam). The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.