Apart from providing food assistance to 100,000 of the urban poor in Dhaka, the fund also aims to strengthen development activities and post-Covid-19 recovery in Bangladesh
The United States government is providing more than $173 million in new funding to complement Bangladesh’s efforts to respond to the spread of Covid-19. This includes a new food assistance program for 100,000 urban poor living in low-income areas of Dhaka.
The additional funding, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to strengthen development activities and post-Covid-19 recovery in Bangladesh, according to the US embassy in Dhaka on Monday.
The funding is part of Washington's commitment to providing more than $1 billion to help governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) round the world, fight the pandemic. This funding will save lives by improving public health education, protecting healthcare facilities, increasing laboratory services and disease-surveillance, and enhancing a rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries.
In Bangladesh, the U.S. government through USAID alone, has already provided nearly $37 million to support Covid-19 response efforts.
The US ambassador in Dhaka, Earl Miller, announced the new funding at an event marking the last batch of newly recruited Bangladeshi doctors participating in a two-day training course jointly organized by USAID and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The in-person training focused on Covid-19 infection prevention, control, and case management, will enable participating doctors and nurses to effectively treat infected persons while keeping themselves safe and helping to reduce the spread of the virus.
At the conclusion of this week’s course, 1,000 new doctors will have participated in the two-day training. They in turn will train 3,000 newly recruited nurses and other health care practitioners in their respective hospitals.
The new funding includes $17 million in health and humanitarian assistance to help Bangladesh respond to COVID-19.
The additional assistance will support a new program to provide cash-based transfers for food to 100,000 urban poor living in low-income areas of Kalyanpur and Sattala Bosti. The assistance will also help re-establish linkages between markets and local agricultural production, as well as support supply chains.
This new round of assistance will expand support for community surveillance, infection prevention and control activities, including training for heroic frontline responders, and will increase knowledge and dispel myths and misconceptions about the disease.
Additionally, USAID will initiate new activities to improve case management and strengthen regulatory and quality standards for local production of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies for local use and export worldwide, helping to keep people employed and benefitting the Bangladeshi economy.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Miller said: “The United States is proud to provide financial and technical assistance for Bangladesh's Covid-19 readiness and response efforts."
"I am especially pleased our new USAID funding will provide life-saving food assistance to thousands of urban, under-privileged people in Dhaka. It is one more way that we are partnering with Bangladesh to address the impact of Covid-19,” he said.