The United States has provided $7 million to a food assistance project in Bangladesh for helping 50,000 low-income households those are at high risk amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The US government, through the United States Agency for International Development, provided the fund to the UN’s World Food Programme for implementing the project in two low-income areas in the capital.
US ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller and WFP country representative Richard Ragan formally lunched the project on Wednesday when state minister for social welfare Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru joined it virtually.
‘No family should face hunger because they are staying in their home to help stop the spread of COVID-19,’ said US ambassador Earl Miller at the event.
This pilot program will help households in these low-income urban areas of Dhaka get the nutritious food they need to stay healthy during these difficult days,’ he added.
The food assistance program will provide aid to 50,000 people living in low-income areas of Kalyanpur and Sattala Bosti by delivering food packages to families who are quarantined due to COVID-19, said a press release of the US embassy.
Additionally, it said the local residents would receive cash-based transfers for free or low-cost fresh vegetables from Bangladeshi farmers, and other nutritious foods from local vendors.
As the program expands, it will work with local farmers, helping to re-establish linkages among families, markets, and local agricultural production.
The food assistance initiative, to be implemented by the WFP in partnership with BRAC, will complement ongoing efforts by the Bangladesh government to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As additional funding is received from other donors, WFP plans to expand this pilot project to other urban areas in the country, said the release.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the USA has committed more than $1.3 billion globally in emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance while in Bangladesh, the US government, through USAID alone, has provided nearly $37 million to support COVID-19 response efforts.
In addition to USAID support, the US government is providing other vital resources and assistance to respond to the pandemic to Bangladesh, including technical assistance and other support through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team based in Dhaka, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Agriculture and other US agencies.
The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971.
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