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Last Updated: 2022.11.09

Fast Retailing and UNHCR Unite to Empower 1,000 Rohingya Refugee Women in Bangladesh Through the Launch of a New Livelihoods Project

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Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are jointly launching a project in Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh - the largest in the world - to build the skills and capacities of 1,000 refugee women by 2025. With the cooperation of Fast Retailing Group's partners within the framework of skills development of refugees, the project aims to train the women in sewing skills to produce reusable cloth sanitary napkins and underwear and other products which are much needed in their daily lives. The goal is to provide them continuous livelihood opportunities with stipends, and to produce sanitary napkins and other essential products for the refugee households in the camps.

Rohingya refegee women receiving sewing skill training under a new livelihoods project launched by Fast Retailing and UNHCR at the Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Commenting on today's announcement, Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President and CEO of Fast Retailing, said, "Fast Retailing has been working in partnership with UNHCR for over 15 years to provide comprehensive support for refugees. The self-reliance support project in Bangladesh that we have announced seeks to improve the quality of daily life for more refugees, helping them to address their daily needs without being solely dependent on aid. Working together with UNHCR, I want to further engage private companies and individuals to help create stable and dignified lives for refugees, and to contribute to a more peaceful society."

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said, "Fast Retailing's latest initiative with UNHCR in Bangladesh is yet another example of its longstanding dedication and commitment to refugees. This joint project gives Rohingya women the chance to provide for their families and communities, and empowers them while contributing to a safer camp environment for all. We encourage more individuals and companies from all over the world to join Fast Retailing in their continued support of people forced to flee."

According to UNHCR, more than 940,000 Rohingya refugees (as of September 30, 2022) are being generously hosted by Bangladesh. Their presence has become prolonged after five years, with many fleeing their homes after the large exodus in 2017. They require not only emergency assistance but also support for skills development and livelihood opportunities to sustain their lives, as well as prepare them for future solutions, particularly their safe, voluntary, and dignified return to Myanmar, when conditions become conducive.

Most of the participants in this project are women who often are single heads of household. By establishing a community where they can produce sanitary napkins, the project aims to create a place where women can discuss their concerns, sustainably receive stipends as paid volunteers, and reduce the challenges they face in their daily lives.

As a first step, the project will train 250 women in sewing skills by the end of March 2023 and aim to produce 770,000 sanitary napkins during the period. In the following years, Fast Retailing and UNHCR will consider the expansion of this project to the host community in Cox's Bazar.

The first-year budget for this project will be US$800,000 under the global partnership agreement. In addition, a portion of proceeds from the UNIQLO PEACE FOR ALL initiative, started in June 2022, will be used for this project.

Fast Retailing and UNHCR's Global Partnership
Fast Retailing and UNHCR have been working together since 2006 to provide clothes to refugees and displaced people around the world, as refugee support is one of the pillars of Fast Retailing's sustainability activities. In 2011, Fast Retailing became the first Asian company to have a global partnership with UNHCR and has contributed to a more comprehensive and sustainable solution to people forced to flee. UNIQLO donates clothing collected at its stores, which UNHCR distributes to refugees and host communities. Fast Retailing also employs refugees at UNIQLO stores around the world, supports UNHCR's livelihood programmes and conducts educational activities for forcibly displaced people.

For more information about the global partnership between Fast Retailing and UNHCR, please visit

For more information about support for Rohingya refugees by UNHCR, please visit


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