Italian clothing brand Benetton has vowed to contribute money to a trust that will benefit the victims and families of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013. Benetton had previously been skeptical of the Rana Plaza Donors Trust, saying that there wasn't a system in place to properly aid victims.
After pressure from international advocacy group Avaaz, Benetton agreed to contribute to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which has received contributions from Primark, Mango, and Walmart, among others. Bentton had worked privately with Bangladesh-based organization to compensate victims of the collapse. In a statement today, Benetton announced that they will pledge an undetermined amount of money to the fund. From the Wall Street Journal:
Though Benetton hasn't contributed until now, saying there wasn't a mechanism for identifying victims and dispersing compensation, the company had paid funds directly to a Bangladesh-based nongovernmental organization that helps victims and their families recover from the collapse of the eight-story factory. Benetton said that through its previous contributions it has helped 280 victims and family members meet their medical and financial needs.
Benetton was the last Western company that had used the Rana Plaza factory as a manufacturer for their clothing line to contribute to the trust. Reuters reports that at least $9 million is still needed to adequately compensate victims and their families:
The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, chaired by the United Nations' International Labor Organisation (ILO), said on its website that it needed an overall $40 million to cover claims from victims and survivors.
The fund still needs $9 million to reach that amount.
"Honestly speaking I think a fair amount for Benetton would be the 9 million," Avaaz spokesman Daniel Boese told Reuters.
Benetton will announce by April 24 (the second anniversary of the collapse) how much money they will contribute to the fund. The factory collapse in 2013 killed over 1,134 people and injured 2,515.
[Image via AP]