The corona pandemic keeps a firm grip on the entire world and is an incredible challenge for all of us every day. We must adapt to difficult and unforeseen situations almost hourly. The Covid-19 pandemic is also having a huge impact on the global cotton and textile production and poses unprecedented challenges for the entire industry. On this page we would like to inform you about how our partners from the production countries and from the textile industry are dealing with the situation and how our stakeholders assess the situation.
Welthungerhilfe is a long-standing partner of the Cotton made in Africa initiative. Together, we have initiated projects in African cotton-growing regions - such as an illiteracy project for adults in Burkina Faso or a water and sanitation project in Zimbabwe. As member of the Cotton made in Africa Advisory Board Dr. Iris Schöniger is part of the panel of experts and an important discussion partner as well as advisor to the management. We had the opportunity to talk to her about the current crisis and learn from her about the special challenges Africa will be facing according to her:
"In poorer countries in Africa and Asia, the coronavirus is not only a health hazard. If fields can no longer be cultivated, supply shortages occur, and supply chains are interrupted. If the global economy slides into recession as a result of the corona crisis, this will also have devastating consequences for the poorest. Even with one percent less economic growth, the number of poor and starving people could increase by two percent. The measures imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbating the already difficult food situation. Poorer countries need emergency aid to respond to the current crisis and the destruction of livelihoods. In the future, the focus will be on protection against social risks and a reversal of the trend towards more regional and fairer food systems. We must now support the most vulnerable people - it is a question of basic human solidarity.”
Dr. Iris Schöninger,
Political Communication & Fundamental Principles
Member of the Cotton made in Africa Advisory Board
Minhazul Reaz, Director of the CmiA registered spinning mill Multimode Resource Ltd from Bangladesh, processes CmiA cotton into yarns before they are used to produce fabrics and textiles. The Covid-19 pandemic massively hits his business and country. We had the chance to talk to him about the impact of the current crisis on his country and business:
“It is a very difficult situation worldwide of course but the ripple effect of this has hit Bangladesh’s garments industry quite hard. So far at least 1.48 Billion dollars’ worth of production has been delayed by the buyer which has put the textile and garment manufacturer into a severe financial downfall and difficulties. There is no other way to deal with it but to shut down the factories for a few days in order stop the spread of the virus. Bangladesh Government had issued a lockdown on all institutions for 10 days approx. However, given the social and cultural aspect of the country, a “social distancing” isn’t really something Bangladeshis are familiar with and finding it hard to adapt. Populations that are in the less solvent part of the society e.g daily wage earner, has been hit pretty badly in this pandemic in Bangladesh. As a spinner, we are seeing a sharp decline in the yarn prices and a massive drop in the cotton prices. It is very difficult to predict what will happen once this pandemic is over, but one thing is certain, we have to work as an industry towards recovery not only in Bangladesh but worldwide. Stay safe and stay well.“
Director, Multimode Resource Ltd.