BRAC initiates emergency food support for 50,000 families

Mehmankhana, a non-profit organisation from Dhaka, provides free food during lockdown to people who are homeless in the Lalmatia area on 5th July 2021

BRAC initiates emergency food support for 50,000 families

Dr Tasnim Jara joins the effort, calling on others to come forward

BRAC initiates “Dakchhe abar desh”, calling all to stand by the people who lost their earnings amid the community transmission of the delta variant of Coronavirus and consequent lockdown. A contribution of BDT 7.50 crore (£640,000), half of which comprises a one-day salary donation from the BRAC employees and the other half is matched from BRAC’s own funds, will be distributed to 50 thousand selected families. Each family will receive £13 which will enable them to buy essential food and other emergency necessities for two weeks. 

The initiative was announced on Wednesday 14th July, with distribution of the money starting from Sunday 18th July. Nineteen districts exposed to high risk of Covid transmission and under strict lockdown will be prioritised in this initiative. The families to receive the assistance are being identified by the skilled field staff of BRAC following a rigorous process. Families with elderly members, pregnant and lactating mothers, persons with disabilities, families dependent on women’s earning, ultra-poor households and those who have not received assistance from other sources will have the priority in this initiative.

Responding to a call by the Honourable Prime Minister, besides the government agencies, BRAC and many other non-governmental and privately owned organisations have been running such assistance programmes since last year. To continue the effort, BRAC is coming forward to stand beside 50 thousand families in the first phase.  But this contribution is simply inadequate compared with the thousands of families suffering. The nation needs both institutions and individuals to come forward. “Dakchhe abar desh” will serve as a platform in this regard and will encourage both individuals and organisations to make contributions.

Asif Saleh, Executive Director, BRAC, said, “The battle against Corona is long-term and tough. It has to be fought and won together. We have plunged into the fight with everything we have, to build community resilience across the country. BRAC is active in the field with over 100,000 fearless field staff, health workers and volunteers, building skills, raising awareness about health and hygiene, distributing free masks and providing emergency assistance. We are committed to supporting the government and our people at every step of the journey.”

“Both the public and private sectors have to come together to see this crisis through. I will request all able individuals and institutions to join the “Dakchhe abar desh” platform,” he added.

Grameenphone partnered with BRAC in 2020 in its effort to provide emergency assistance to the affected families and they have also committed to join the initiative this year. 

Healthcare non-profit “Sahay” has joined this initiative. Dr Tasnim Jara, a founder of this non-profit and a postgraduate student at the University of Oxford, has already joined the movement. A recipient of the “Vaccine Luminary” award by the British government and currently working at the United Kingdom’s government healthcare system NHS, Tasnim Jara said, “People who live just on their daily wages confine themselves to their home not only for their own safety but to ensure others’ safety also. Their sacrifice is not only for their own sake, but for the sake of all of us. It is therefore all of our responsibility to lessen the terrible hardship they are in.” Through BRAC Sahay will assist more than 65 families and motivate others to come forward. 

BRAC hopes that more individuals, institutions and partners will join this initiative. Last year BRAC employees donated their one-day salary as emergency food support. Under that initiative BRAC, Grameenphone and other partners came together to provide emergency assistance to 365,000 families, with £13 received by each family.

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