Brac has allocated a budget of Tk 15 crore to help low-income families in urban slums, semi-urban and remote areas whose livelihoods have been impacted due to social distancing measures taken to stem the Covid-19 pandemic.
Each family would be provided Tk 1,500 as an emergency food assistance fund, that started yesterday, with 100,000 families to be covered in the first phase -- using Brac's own fund disseminated through its different programmes, according to a press release."Covid-19 is a humanitarian crisis with a public health dimension.
In countries like Bangladesh, it also has a dire economic consequence. According to World Bank data, only 15 percent of Bangladesh's population makes more than Tk 500 a day. Most villagers depend on remittances from the cities or abroad. Because this is a global crisis, people everywhere are out of work. Income has stopped," Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh said.
"Our emergency assistance will be targeted towards low-income families who have lost their source of income due to coronavirus. We will support 100,000 such families, however the requirements are far greater. I urge compassionate individuals and organisations to come forward and help us scale up the initiative to reach many more," he also said.
This initiative will be implemented in close coordination with the local public representatives and administration, particularly to avoid duplication, Saleh added. Families in 12 city corporations, eight municipalities, 38 sadar upazilas, haor villages, neighbourhoods and market areas near river ports, as well as the host community living adjacent to the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, will receive this assistance.
Brac has also launched a fundraising appeal to scale up the effort and increase the coverage of their programme, details of which are available on their website. The organisation is also driving a nationwide hygiene awareness and behavioural change campaign with its network of over 100,000 staff, volunteers and health workers with support of the local administration.