Dhaka – Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday launched a food-aid programme for the ultra poor section of people who suffers from food scarcity during the lean seasons in particular pockets of the country.
A card-holder, under the programme, will receive a kilogram of rice at Tk 10 for five months in a year, officials at the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The marginalized groups of people most of whom live on farm labour pass through difficulty during the months of March and April in the first half of the year while the face the similar situation in the months of September, October and November.
Considering agonies of the poorer section of the people, the government has launched the programme titled “Sheikh Hasinar Bangladesh, Khudha hobe Niruddesh” under which some 5 million people will be given the low-price rice supply for five months a year.
The Prime Minister began distribution of the low-price rice distribution in northern district of Kurigram, where a major section of rural people used to live in abject poverty.
Addressing a public meeting on the occasion at A U Pilot High School ground of Chilmari, the prime minister said the food programme for ultra poor would continue across the country.
She said special cards will be issued for the receiver of the aid.
The ultra poor families have been selected through the local public representatives.
Besides, female-led families, widows, divorced or abandoned women and the poor households with children were given priority under the food support programme.
Food Minister Advocate Quamrul Islam presided over the function while agriculture minister Matiya Chowdhury, cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor, state minister for social affairs Nuruzzaman Ahmed, state minister for local government Moshiur Rahman Ranga and Khaled Mahmood Chowdhury, MP and local parliament members addressed the function.
The prime minister inaugurated the food distribution programme by giving rice to 15 local residents.
Hasina, the then opposition leader, during her visit to the then monga-stricken northern districts on November 8, 2005, had pledged to remove plight of the poor people if her Awami League party comes to power.
Accordingly, her government after taking office in 2009 has been pursuing a number of social safety net programnes to alleviate poverty in the northern districts. Food distribution at Taka 10 per kilogram is the latest one in aid to poor, state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha reported.
The government has allocated Taka 2,100 crore for food-support programme to distribute food among poor with Taka 27 subsidy per kg of rice, secretary of the food ministry said.