Sex workers from one of the world's largest brothels appealed to the Bangladesh government on Monday for emergency funding after a ban on customers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
More than 1,500 sex workers are based at the Daulatdia brothel, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Dhaka, which is one of about 12 officially sanctioned brothels in the South Asian country, and receives an estimated 5,000 customers every day.
The government on Friday announced the closure of the brothel – a series of shacks spread over a maze of alleyways – until at least April 5 but promised to give all of the sex workers a package of 30 kgs of rice, $25, and a freeze on rent.
Government official Rubayet Hayat, executive officer of the sub-district of Goalanda, where the brothel is located, said the aid was expected to arrive late this week.
But women working at Daulatdia appealed for immediate help, saying they no longer had money to pay for food for themselves or their children due to the sudden closure of the brothel.