Govt working to empower extreme poor

 DHAKA, May 14, 2018 (BSS) РWith a view to empower the extreme poor women along with the disabled children, the government has been implementing different social safety net programmes in all city corporation, district, upazila and municipality areas.

Under the programmes, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is providing financial assistances, foods along with imparting training to around 18 lakh extreme poor women across the country.

Of them, eight lakh extreme poor women are getting Taka 500 each per month side by side with training on maternal and child health, breast-feeding, sanitation, reproductive issues, vaccination, family planning and prevention of child marriage, said State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki.

Talking to BSS here today, she said the Working Lactating Mother Assistance Fund Programme of the government brought 2,00,000 poor working mothers under this allowance and training across the country, creating awareness about mother and child health.

Each beneficiary would deposit Taka 200 per month as savings on their bank account, while the government is providing two-year training on nine-module to make them self-reliant. “A healthy mother gives birth to a healthy child,” Chumki said adding her ministry has been working sincerely in this regard.

She said the government is providing maternity allowance to 6,00,000 poor mother across the country with Taka each 500 per month. Between July 2017 and March 2018, the government distributed Taka 180 crore, while Taka 90 crore is being distributed at district and upazila level since January this year.

Besides, the government has provided foods and training to 7,50,000 extreme poor women from 2009-2010 to 2015-2016, while the number of beneficiaries rose to 10,00,000 during 2017-2018 under the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme across the country.

“The present government extended the VGD (Vulnerable Group Development), maternity allowance for poor mother, working lactating mother assistance fund programme to develop the living standard of extreme poor people,” Chumki said.

Under the programme, the government provided 30-kg of package food (rice) along with training service (training, savings and loan) to extreme poor women, she said adding the current Maternity Allowance at Taka 500 each would be increased to Taka 800 per month in the next financial year.

Presently, a poor mother is getting maternity allowance for two years. But the Under-5 children need 90 percent nutrition for physical and mental development. So it is very important to eat nutritious food for mother and child during the period, she said.

Keeping this in view, the ministry plans to extend the maturity of the matrimonial period from two years to three years, the state minister said.