To aid the ultra-poor in their time of need, government officials of various districts are delivering food to their homes
Bangladesh is under a nationwide shutdown to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The situation is especially dire for people with low income, as they can no longer leave home to earn a living for the next few days.
To aid the ultra-poor in their time of need, government officials in various districts are delivering food to their homes with the support of volunteers and public representatives.
Responding to query, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Shah Kamal said, "The ministry has already allocated 24,117 tonnes of rice and Tk8.5 crore in cash to districts across the country."
An additional 6,500 tonnes of rice and Tk1.31 crore in cash was allocated on Saturday.
He further said, "The district commissioners have begun distributing food across the country yesterday. We are currently just monitoring the distribution of food and cash among the poor and vulnerable people.
"Each district was given 500 tonnes of rice and Tk7-10 lakh in cash, and the Dhaka City Corporation received Tk25 lakh in cash."
Shah Kamal added that the distribution of food and cash will continue as per the demand of the poor and vulnerable people.
The distribution of 170 tonnes of rice and Tk10 lakh in cash, allocated by the government, has begun in the port city.
On Saturday, the first day of the programme, government officials distributed food items to ultra-poor families at the city and upazila levels.
The officials distributed 500 packets of food in Chattogram's Agrabad, Alongkar Mor, GEC and Wasar Mor areas. Each packet has 10 kg rice, 2 kg of flattened rice, 1 kg of pulse, sugar, salt and oil each, and half a kg of noodles.
Upazila nirbahi officers (UNOs) and assistance commissioners have delivered food to ultra-poor families throughout 15 upazilas of the port city.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Sajeev Kumar Chakraborty said, "We have started distributing relief to 17,000 poor and underprivileged families."
Government officials are delivering rice and pulses to the doorsteps of ultra-poor people. The district administration started the programme on Saturday.
The distribution is not being carried out by following a pre-made list, instead, the aid is being delivered to the people who need it the most.
Kazi M Emdadul Islam, deputy commissioner of Sylhet, said, "The government has allocated 100 tonnes of rice and Tk10 lakh I cash, and we have sent these to the UNOs. They will deliver the aid to the ultra-poor families' homes without causing a crowd.
"The UNOs will find identify the people in need in an area from local union parishad chairmen and members. Then they will then go door-to-door to distribute the aid after verification."
The government has allocated 272 tonnes of rice and Tk8 lakh in cash to Khulna city and its nine upazilas. The rice and cash will be distributed to 15,000 families of the district through local representatives, under the supervision of the local administration if necessary.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Azizul Islam Joardar said, "Of the allocated rice, 62 tonnes will be distributed in the 31 wards of Khulna city, and the remaining 210 tonnes will be distributed to nine upazilas.
The government allocated the rice and cash on March 25.
The government has allocated 404 tonnes of rice and Tk5 lakh for 40,000 ultra-poor and working-class families in the city and district level, to alleviate their suffering amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities are making a list of ultra-poor people in the city and upazilas, with support from the local representatives.
Under the leadership of the city mayor, disaster management and relief committees at the upazila, municipality and union level are preparing the list.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Aminul Haque said, "We are working on a list of the ultra-poor, and the packaging of food items. The distribution will begin within the next few days."
The district administration has begun distributing 10kg of rice to each of the 28,100 families of mostly day labourers and rickshaw pullers, who became unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Md Azhar Ali said, "The government has allocated 10 tonnes of rice to the Bogura municipality area and 5 tonnes for each of the upazilas. Besides, Tk10,000 has been allocated for each of the unions to provide support for poor families.
The government has allocated 100 tonnes of rice and Tk10 lakh for the poor families in Mymensingh.
Speaking to The Business Standard, Deputy Commissioner Mizanur Rahman said, "We are trying to support the people who are really needy and poor. So, we tracked down needy rickshaw pullers with the help of the city corporation and workers with the help of businessmen.
"We are also collecting area-based information from volunteers and sending poor families aid through their help."
The disaster management and relief ministry has allocated 195 tonnes of rice and Tk10 lakh in cash for Barisal district. Under the district administration's management, the aid is being distributed to the ultra-poor and unemployed people.
Deputy Commissioner SM Ajior Rahman said, "We began distributing the rice and cash to ultra-poor families in the city and 10 upazilas from Thursday.
"In the initial phase, we distributed 10 kgs of rice, 2 kgs pulses, 5 kgs of potato and soap to each of the 130 working class families in every upazila. We are also distributing 8 tonnes of rice and Tk50,000 in cash to the needy people of the city."