WFP supports the urban poor

Diplomatic Correspondent

22 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has dispatched cash assistance to the urban poor, including those in quarantine and isolation, in northern part of Dhaka with an aim to support the government’s Covid-19 response.

“The lessons learnt from this pilot programme will help to improve government’s urban interventions for people vulnerable to shocks such as Covid-19,” said Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru, State Minister for Social Welfare.

Under the pilot programme, a total of 50,000 individuals (10,000 households) living in Kalyanpur, and Sattala Bosti in the capital’s Mohakhali area, will receive Tk 3,000 (US$ 35) per month.

These locations were identified as a majority of the residents work in the informal sector which includes garment factories and domestic work. Many of them have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 fallout.

“Massive job losses and rising food prices are pushing millions of people into poverty and hunger, especially in urban areas in Bangladesh. This programme is an important step towards addressing the mounting challenges facing the urban households at this critical time,” said WFP Country Director Richard Ragan.

Through the programme, the WFP will also deliver food baskets to families that have members who have contracted the coronavirus and are in quarantine.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by NOG BRAC, the programme pays special attention to the families’ needs in accessing nutrient-rich food, such as fresh vegetables. By working with local traders, WFP and its partners will ensure that a stable supply of vegetables and other nutritious foods are available at reasonable prices at designated local stores.

In August, WFP Country Director Richard Ragan, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller, and Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, visited families who are participating in the programme in Kallyanpur slum.