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Making sure relief goes where needed

  • Published at 08:07 pm April 10th, 2020
poor beggars vulnerable
Photo: Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Letting low income people starve while the rich line their pockets at the time of a pandemic is unconscionable

While many are currently living in fear of being exposed to Covid-19, the countrywide lockdown has affected the poorest of the poor in a different way. On top of health concerns, they now have to worry about their daily sustenance, with normal avenues of earning closed up to them.

Right now, the initiatives so far to feed the underprivileged are not entirely satisfactory, with questions about where exactly the relief supplies go.

In fact, there is a genuine concern that relief is being misappropriated by corrupt parties entrusted with their distribution. There have been allegations that local political leaders, district representatives, and petty criminals have been stealing relief goods for their own personal gain.

At a time when the nation is dealing with a crisis of this magnitude, unscrupulous actions of this kind are unforgivable.

Many in this country live a hand-to-mouth existence; such is our economic reality. Perhaps one day we will dig our way out of poverty but, until then, the government has a solemn obligation to ensure that those living in poverty do not starve.

Doing so means not just announcing relief programs and then turning a blind eye, but actually monitoring the process to make sure that supplies are indeed reaching the poorest of the poor. Letting low income people starve while the rich line their pockets at the time of a pandemic is unconscionable.

A stimulus package worth thousands of crores was recently announced to see the country through this crisis. Let us make sure that the ones who need assistance the most do not fall through the cracks.