Kalyanpur slum receives food aid from US for pandemic


US Ambassador Earl Miller and Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md. Atiqul Islam on Thursday visited 

with families in Kalyanpur Bosti (slum) who are receiving food assistance through a new USAID-funded program benefitting 50,000 residents in two Dhaka neighborhoods.

 The program is part of the $56.5 million in total U.S. government assistance provided by all U.S. government agencies to date to support Bangladesh’s COVID-19 response efforts.

 They observed program staff preparing food baskets for delivery and spoke with people purchasing fresh vegetables at a local shop using the program’s cash transfers.

 World Food Programme’s Country Representative Richard Ragan and BRAC’s Executive Director Asif Saleh, responsible for implementing the program in Kalyanpur Bosti and Sattala Bosti (Mohakhali), participated in the visit.   

 This program will provide aid to 50,000 people in these areas through cash-based transfers to help them meet their food and basic needs, through purchases at local vendors for foods, including fresh vegetables as well as offering deliveries of food baskets for families quarantined when a family member is ill with COVID-19.

“Walking around Kalyanpur and talking with residents of this neighborhood, I witnessed how valuable this food assistance program is,” said Ambassador Miller.

 “This program is an example of the great partnership the U.S. government has with Bangladeshis, with small businesses here in Dhaka, with the Government of Bangladesh, and with organizations such as the World Food Programme and BRAC.  By working together, we are all stronger and can help each other make it through this pandemic,” he stated.

 “This new initiative is part of the latest efforts by the U.S. government to provide aid to countries responding to the effects of COVID-19.  Since the beginning of the outbreak, the U.S. government has committed more than $1.5 billion worldwide in emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance specifically aimed at helping governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) fight the pandemic,” the embassy said.  

 In Bangladesh, the U.S. government has so far provided over $56.5 million in total from all agencies to support COVID-19 response efforts. 

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

In 2019, USAID alone 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.