Non-government organisation Brac has launched the second phase of its emergency food assistance programme for 1 lakh more families.
A budget of Tk15 crore has been allocated to fund the programme for families facing livelihood crises in 50 districts due to the lockdown and social distancing measures over the Covid-19 pandemic, a statement from Brac said Friday.
Under the initiative that began on Wednesday (15 April), each family will get Tk1,500 to enable them to buy essential food items for two weeks.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Brac Bank are partnering with Brac for the second phase of the aid programme.
In the first phase of the initiative, Brac has already disbursed the same amount of money from its own fund to one lakh families that received Tk1,500 each to buy essential foods.
Referring to a recent countrywide survey by the Brac, which shows a 60-percentage-point rise in extreme poverty due to measures to fight the pandemic, its Executive Director Asif Saleh said, "The survey findings show 72 percent people have lost their jobs or suffered reduced work opportunities."
"A loss of income has resulted in the rise of extreme poverty by 60 percent. Also, 14 percent of people have no food reserved at home while 29 percent have only 1-3-day food-reserve," he said.
"Two weeks have elapsed since the survey, and we believe the situation has further deteriorated, prompting us to launch the second phase of our cash assistance programme which will help these families buy food from nearby functional markets or shops," he added.