The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has allocated Tk574.9 crore to support poor and distressed families financially during the ongoing lockdown imposed in the wake of the second wave of the novel coronavirus, said State Minister for Relief Enamur Rahman at a press conference on Sunday.
Besides, around 35 lakh poor families will get cash assistance of Tk2,500 as an "Eid gift" from the prime minister, added the minister as he was briefing the media about the government's relief distribution work amid the pandemic.
Enamur Rahman said his ministry has allocated money to all the city corporations in the country. This money will be used to buy and distribute baby food.
The ministry has also allocated Tk121 crore as Gratuitous Relief (GR) and another Tk452 crore under Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme, he further added.
Dhaka South, Dhaka North and Chattogram city corporations have been given Tk57 lakh each, while other city corporations have been given Tk32 lakh each. Besides, GR cash of Tk250,000 has been given to each municipality and union parishad.
On the other hand, over one crore families will get assistance from the VGF fund of Tk452 crore.
Besides, the prime minister has allocated Tk20-50 lakh to each deputy commissioner in the country for emergency arrangements. Tk10.5 crore has been allocated in this area, which is being used to provide food assistance among people who have become jobless due to the pandemic, Enamur said.
"We've purchased packaged food worth Tk7.5 crore for distribution among marginalised people. A tender has been floated for the purchase of packaged food worth Tk10 crore more. Each packet will contain around 17 kilograms of foodstuffs, including 10 kg of rice, 1 kg of pulses, oil, salt and sugar and noodles, which will meet the food demand of a family for 15 days."
The ministry has planned on distributing such packets twice a month, added the minister.
He went on to say that the distribution of prime minister's "Eid gift" of Tk2,500 for each of around 35 lakh marginalised families is expected to kick off in a day or two. The money will be sent directly to the mobile phone of the beneficiaries through mobile financial service (MFS) providers.
One lakh farmers have suffered crop damages due to the recent heat shock, Minister Enamur mentioned, adding that each of the affected farmers will be given financial assistance of Tk5,000 from the Prime Minister's Office.
An emergency allocation of Tk1.73 crore has been made in 64 districts of the country to deal with natural calamities such as cyclone, flood and nor'wester, he continued.
Besides, the food ministry's programme to distribute rice at Tk10 a kg to 50 lakh families, the women and children affairs ministry's rice distribution work under the VGF programme, and the trading corporation's food sales at chief rates are also underway, he said.
"These have been our programmes over the last two weeks of lockdown."
Sharing their planning for the upcoming Eid, Minister Enamur Rahman said, "The Prime Minister has issued directives to provide the same amount of financial assistance on the occasion of the forthcoming Eid when lockdown will be over. We contacted the Ministry of Finance. They have also received the prime minister's instructions. We will make this allocation by 2 May."