29.70 lakh families get relief assistance in Rajshahi division

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RAJSHAHI, June 20, 2020 (BSS) – Around 29.70 lakh jobless and other hardest hit families consisting 1.34 crore people have, so far, received government relief assistance to overcome their livelihood related crises triggered by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Rajshahi division. As part of its humanitarian support to tackle the present crisis, the government has distributed 21,895 tonnes of rice and around Taka 13.72 crore in cash among the families in need in all eight districts of the division since the pandemic began.

Rajshahi Divisional Commissioner Humayun Kabir Khandaker said 18,13,660 families were given 10 kilograms of rice each free of cost while another 9,18,070 families got Taka 1,000 each for baby food purposes and necessary other expenses till Friday last.

A total of 3,337 tonnes of rice and over TK 2.07 crore in cash are in the stock at present for distribution in line with the government’s efforts to reach foodstuffs among all hardest hit people, he added. Around 2.38 lakh distressed and other less-incoming families comprising around 10.72 lakh people have, so far, received Open Market Sale (OMS) rice in the division to mitigate their crisis caused by the pandemic.

The Department of Food has distributed 32,418 tonnes of rice at Taka 10 per kilogram under the government’s OMS programme through 92 appointed dealers in all eight districts in the division and another 862 tonnes remain in stock for distribution till Thursday last.

Regional Controller of Food Raihanul Kabir said the OMS programme is being conducted in city, district headquarter, pourashava and union levels since April 5 last to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Around 13,074.69 tonnes of flour have also been distributed at TK 18 per kilogram among the families in need through 54 dealers under the OMS programme in the division till the same day.

Besides, 1,38,858.02 tonnes of rice have, so far, been distributed among 7,73,026 enlisted poor and extreme poor households under the government’s “Food Friendly Programme”.

Another 4,500 tonnes of rice are also being distributed among the needy families under the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme. Each of 1.5 lakh beneficiary families is getting 30 kilograms of rice every month free of cost.

As part of its efforts to reach foodstuffs to the jobless and other hardest hit families, Rajshahi City Corporation has disbursed 378 tonnes of rice, five tonnes of flour, 64 tonnes of pulse, 67 tonnes of potato, 2,000 packets of baby food, 350 tonnes of seasonal vegetables and 3,950 packets of cooked foods benefiting around 1.40 lakh jobless and distressed families in the city.

It has also provided food to 1,200 teachers from kindergarten and pre-cadet schools in Rajshahi city areas as the gift of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina very recently.

Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton said 7,400 households were also given foodstuffs as part of the government’s instant humanitarian support to relieve the livelihood related hardship.

Besides, 26,782 members of 118 deserving organizations were given 148 tonnes of rice in the city as the gift of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to lessen their livelihood sufferings.