COVID-19 outbreak affects livelihood of poor: Webinar


8th May, 2020 05:42:21 printer

COVID-19 outbreak affects livelihood of poor: Webinar

A webinar titled “Targeting Covid-19 Relief Payments in Bangladesh” was held on Friday.

The event was jointly organized by Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Yale University MacMillan Center, Youth Policy Forum and Dhaka Tribune, a press release of Access to information (a2i) said.

The seminar was organized online to address some important issues regarding relief payment targeting in Bangladesh during Covid-19 crisis and provide answers to the frequently asked questions, the release added.

Anir Chowdhury, policy adviser of a2i, working on government’s Covid-19 response, participated in the event as a speaker. Mushfiq Mobarak, professor of Economics, Yale University, Sabina Rashid, dean and professor, James P Grant School of Public Health and Asif Saleh, executive director, BRAC, were also among the panelists

Maria May, senior programme officer, Financial Services for the Poor, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Mark Miller, director of Development and Public Finance Programme, ODI moderated the webinar.

During the panel discussion, Policy Adviser of a2i Anir Chowdhury discussed the government initiatives under the existing Social Safety Net Program in Bangladesh along with the ministerial interventions for food support.

The speakers in the webinar said the coronavirus pandemic has affected the livelihoods of the poorest citizens in Bangladesh.

The implementation of lockdowns and social distancing policies has rendered income-less the vulnerable groups depending on daily wages, they said, adding that similarly, the day laborers in Bangladesh are facing the same scenario and are in need of urgent monetary help.

To help them survive, the government of Bangladesh has pledged to assist 4 million vulnerable families with cash, they added.

The webinar recognized the power of mobile technology for both targeting and money transfer.