US announces assistance for Bangladesh flood victims

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DHAKA, July 24, 2020 – United States Ambassador to Bangladesh, Earl Miller has announced the US government’s assistance to vulnerable families in flooded parts of northern Bangladesh who have lost their homes or livelihoods.

“As we have been for decades, the US government is committed to standing with the people of Bangladesh and working together with the Government of Bangladesh to help those in need when natural disasters strike,” said Ambassador Miller.

The assistance is being provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of ongoing collaboration among the US, Bangladesh’s disaster management and relief ministry and the United Nations, an US embassy press release said here today.

The assistance will be offered to the most vulnerable people in two unions in Gaibandha and Kurigram districts in Rangpur division who have been displaced or facing lack food or shelter, and who are not receiving other support.

The areas to be assisted are Bamandanga union under Nageshwari upazila in Kurigram district and Fazlupur union under Fulchari upazila in Gaibandha District while these two areas are among the unions where floods first affected communities.

The assistance includes multipurpose cash grants to those eligible.

Additionally, these families will receive an emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene support package, which is critical to avoiding diseases and is especially important to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Recipients will be able to use the cash grants to purchase essential items to meet their immediate needs, which also helps support the local economy during this disaster.

Over the past years, several USAID programs have worked to enhance disaster preparedness in households and communities to help people become more resilient.

USAID’s SHOUHARDO III project with CARE Bangladesh has helped vulnerable families in northeastern Bangladesh whose homes were flooded in 2019, by constructing raised earthen platforms, called plinths, to lift 1,744 homes above flood levels, said the release.

Moreover, USAID, in coordination with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and World Meteorological Organization, is training Bangladeshi disaster management professionals on the South Asia Flash Flood Guidance System.

USAID also supports capacity-building activities for disaster management specialists and first responders through the Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER), a program active throughout the South Asia region since 1998.

The US government, through USAID alone, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971.

In 2019, USAID provided over $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programs that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change.

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