'Walking around Kallyanpur and talking with residents of this neighbourhood, I witnessed how valuable this food assistance program is'
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller on Thursday visited and interacted with families in Kallyanpur slum receiving food assistance through a new US government program funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam was also present and observed program staff preparing food baskets for delivery and spoke with people purchasing fresh vegetables at a local shop using the program’s cash transfers.
World Food Program’s Country Representative Richard Ragan and Brac’s Executive Director Asif Saleh, responsible for implementing the programme in Kallyanpur Bosti and Sattala Bosti (Mohakhali), participated in the visit.
This program will provide aid to 50,000 people in these areas through cash-based transfers to help them meet their food and basic needs, through purchases at local vendors for foods, including fresh vegetables as well as offering deliveries of food baskets for families quarantined when a family member is ill with Covid-19.
“Walking around Kallyanpur and talking with residents of this neighbourhood, I witnessed how valuable this food assistance program is,” said Ambassador Miller.
“This program is an example of the great partnership the US government has with Bangladeshis, with small businesses here in Dhaka, with the government of Bangladesh, and with organizations such as the World Food Program and Brac. By working together, we are all stronger and can help each other make it through this pandemic,” he said.
This new initiative is part of the latest efforts by the US government to provide aid to countries responding to the effects of Covid-19, said the US Embassy in Dhaka.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the US government has committed more than $1.5 billion worldwide in emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance specifically aimed at helping governments, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) fight the pandemic.
In Bangladesh, the US government has so far provided over $56.5 million in total from all agencies to support Covid-19 response efforts.
The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971.
In 2019, USAID alone provided over $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programmes that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change.