The initiative aims to support 100,000 families with emergency food sustenance
Brac and Grameenphone have teamed up for an initiative to support those who have been most affected in Bangladesh by the coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s largest NGO and mobile phone operator have jointly launched the “Daakche Amar Desh” initiative to invite all to join the cause, Brac said in a statement.
The initiative was announced Friday at a press conference through video conferencing where Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman, Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh, Brac Communication and Outreach Director Moutushi Kabir, Grameenophone Sustainability Project Lead M Hafizur Rahman Khan were present and Khairul Basher, head of Communications Grameenphone moderated the session, it said.
“The ongoing social distancing drive and restriction on movement due to the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a toll on people who survive on daily wages and living in extreme poverty. Millions in Bangladesh have already lost their livelihood and are facing difficulties in meeting their basic food necessities” reads the Brac statement.
The government, along with many non-governmental and private sector organizations, have come forward with supportive interventions. Still, for the nation to prevail, it requires mass scale support from both individuals and institutions. A nationwide survey by Brac among 2,675 low-income people in 64 districts reveals that 14% of low-income families do not have food at home. Due to the general holidays and lockdowns to enforce social distancing measures, 72 percent of the respondents reported job loss or reduced work opportunities.
Hence, “Daakche Amar Desh” will also serve as a solidarity platform and call to action for public fundraising and institutional contribution behind the cause.
Grameenphone will join with Tk15 crore to Brac’s emergency food assistance fund, which will help Brac to reach 100,000 affected families. Each family will receive Tk1,500 for two weeks’ essential food supplies.
“This is a global crisis. This is a time all in the public-private sector need to come together to tackle the upheaval of Covid-19. We have been from the very beginning there to collaborate with different public and private entities so that we can be stronger together and can create a positive impact in the society as an outcome of our joint efforts.
“While Grameenphone joins Brac today to support 100,000 affected families, I request all individuals/enterprises who can afford to join in this program ‘Daakche Amar Desh’, or the other ones initiated by different entities or Government. Together we can reach maximum people who really need help in this tough time.
“Apart from this initiative, Grameenphone shall continue working with DG Health, a2i, BTRC, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF to support the Government during this pandemic outbreak of Covid-19,” the statement quoted Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman
Azman added: “We would again like to thank every doctor, every member of Law Enforcement Agencies, Army, volunteers, and our colleagues who are out there risking their lives to support the nation. This is a resilient nation full of vigor and courage. We proved it before, and we will prove it in the days to come.
Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh said: “This is a humanitarian crisis, not just a health pandemic. Our country needs us now, more than ever. Brac has mobilized the entire organisation from the onset with over 100,000 field staff, health workers, and volunteers on the ground. We are actively supporting the Government with capacity building and essential skills, public health awareness, PPE supplies, along with emergency cash assistance to people in need.”
“We have already committed and mobilised Tk30 crore to support 200,000 families. The generous support from Grameenphone will enable us to scale up further. Brac will continue to prioritise the most vulnerable - the elderly, pregnant or lactating mothers, people with disabilities, women-headed households, people living in ultra-poverty and those who are not receiving support from any other sources,” he added.
Individuals and institutions may join this cause by sending assistance through:
>>Bank Account Name: BRAC
Number: 150120-2316474001; BRAC BANK, Gulshan 1, Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka
>>bKash Number: 01730321765