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Rana Plaza Claims update: April 16th

This update provides information on the total of claims made between 24th March and the 16th April, the status of advance payments to be made to all victims and developments within the claims process.

350 families of those killed by the collapse of Rana Plaza, including families of workers still registered as missing, have now filed claims at the Rana Plaza Arrangement Claims Office in Savar and 1000 dependants have been provided with bank accounts at the Dutch-Bangla bank. It is expected that a further 250 claims will be processed in the coming weeks, ensuring that 600 families should receive their first payment (representing 20% of the total claim) when the first round of processing is completed in mid-May 2014.

In recognition of the extreme hardship facing many of those involved in the collapse, the Coordination Committee had already agreed to make advance payments of 50,000tk to all those linked to the tragedy by the 24th April 2014 and $2million from the Rana Plaza Trust Fund has been transferred for this purpose. These payments will be delivered using the BKash mobile banking system through accounts already set up for the provision of short term relief. For those who are not eligible for long term compensation this will be the final relief payment made by the Coordination Committee. For those submitting claims for long term or permanent losses this will be treated as an advance payment towards their claim.

In the weeks since the claims processing began significant work has undertaken to get the Claims Cffice up and running. This has included the refurbishment of the office, outreach to the victims and their families and the provision of full training to the claims processing staff. The Claims Office is now fully operational and includes a team of lawyers, IT staff, accountant and support staff. Initial training has also been provided to the medical assessment teams.

The Claims Commissioners have also been working to resolve a number of technical issues relating to the claims themselves, including the division of payments between numerous dependants, the establishment of a local bank account for the purposes of fund transfers and the finalisation of wage tables to ensure claims are calculated using the correct reference wage.