RAJSHAHI, Sept 29, 2020 (BSS) – More than 1.34 crore people of around 32.16 lakh families hardest hit by the present novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have, so far, received government’s humanitarian assistance to overcome their livelihood related hardships in the division.
As part of its continuous humanitarian support to cope with the present pandemic situation, the government has distributed 24,219.27 tonnes of rice and Taka 15.24 crore in cash among the severely affected families.
Moinul Islam, additional commissioner of Rajshahi Division, said each of 21,00,119 beneficiary families was given 10 kilograms of rice free of cost while another 11,15,697 families got Taka 1,000 each for purchasing baby food and necessary essentials in all eight districts of the division till Sunday.
A total of 890.58 tonnes of rice and over Taka 6.61 lakh in cash are in stock at present for distribution, he said.
Apart from this, around 20.18 lakh distressed and vulnerable families have bought rice at reduced price through Open Market Sale (OMS) to mitigate their crisis caused by the pandemic.
The Department of Food has distributed 10,087.99 tonnes of rice at Taka 10 per kilogram under the government’s OMS programme through 158 appointed dealers.
Regional Controller of Food Raihanul Kabir said the OMS programme had been conducted in city, district headquarters, pourasabha and union levels so that people can get rice at a cheap price.
To alleviate the present pandemic situation, the food department has sold 752.89 tonnes of rice at Taka 30 per kilogram till Sunday since July 12, while around 3,363.16 tonnes of flour at Taka 18 per kilogram under the OMS programme in the division since July 1 last.
Apart from this, 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.
Meanwhile, Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) has distributed foodstuffs among around 2,500 distressed COVID-19 infected patients in its areas.
All the families of the patients will get the food support at their respective doorsteps in phases, RCC sources said.
A total of 3,615 people have tested positive for COVID-19 with 24 fatalities in Rajshahi city areas till Sunday.
The RCC has also dispensed 1,394.85 tonnes of rice, Taka 48.12 lakh in cash and 145 cartons of baby food among the badly virus affected families as part of the government aid to handle the present troubled situation.
Besides, it has distributed 239.80 tonnes of rice among 31,324 people of 157 organisations as the gift of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and as a part of the government’s instant humanitarian support to lessen their livelihood related hardship.