Proposed budget brings smile for pregnant, lactating mothers
DHAKA, June 10, 2022 (BSS) – Every year, a huge number of children and mothers die of various complications, including malnutrition, while giving births.
But, the proposed national budget for fiscal 2022-23 brings a new hope for them as it has increased allocation to ‘Mother and Child Support Programme’, which will help poor pregnant and lactating mothers meet their nutritional need.
While placing the national budget for fiscal 2022-23 in the House on June 9, 2022, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal proposed a total allocation of Taka 1,243 crore in this sector.
In his budget speech, he said the government has started the implementation of the ‘Mother and Child Support Programme’ by integrating the existing maternity allowance for poor pregnant mothers in rural areas and for low-income lactating working mothers in urban areas.
This programme will help meet the nutritional needs and ensure physical growth and mental development of the child up to four years of age including the first 1,000 important days of life starting from the mother’s womb under the life-cycle based social security framework.
In addition, the programme will play a significant role in reducing the number of maternal and child mortality, underweight and malnourished children.
“Our government is considering maternal and child support programs as the best investment under social safety net programmes,” Kamal said.
“As a result, considering the priority of this programme, I am proposing to increase the number of beneficiaries by 2,09,000 and thus the total number of beneficiaries will be 12,54,000 in fiscal 2022-2023 from 10,45,000 in fiscal 2021-2022,” he added.
He said the total allocation for this sector in fiscal 2022-2023 is Taka 1,243 crore.
In addition to this, women are getting benefits from the social safety net programmes like old-age allowance, disability allowance and disability stipend and the poverty alleviation programmes such as rural and urban social service activities, rehabilitation of the acid burnt and disabled persons, as 50 percent of the beneficiaries under these schemes are women.
Under the widows and deserted and destitute women allowance and rural maternity centre activities, 100 percent beneficiaries are women too.
“As women’s participation in interest-free microfinance activities is mandatory, annually they are directly contributing to the empowerment of 1.20 lakh women, social safety, self-employment, access to education and training, participation in income generating activities, own capital and access to government resources and services,” the finance minister said.
He said arrangements are being made for the subsistence, training, education and rehabilitation of socially vulnerable women through six centres on a priority basis.
Kamal said the food allowance for orphans has been increased by Taka 500 for each from January, 2022 andd it stands now at the rate of Taka 4,000 per person per month.
Reintegration or rehabilitation with family or close relatives or any other institution is being ensured by providing services to disadvantaged children through Sheikh Russell Child Training and Rehabilitation Centres, he said.
“At present, a total of 2,291 children (1,088 boys and 1,203 girls) are staying in these centres,” the finance minister added.