Govt to continue food aid for 3.80 lakh flood-hit haor families

DHAKA- The government will continue providing food assistance to 3.80 lakh flood affected families in the haor region, said Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossen Chowdhury Maya here today.

The minister made the declaration speaking at an inter-ministerial disaster management coordination committee meeting at the disaster management and relief ministry in the morning.

"The government will continue to provide monthly 30 kg rice and Taka 500 in cash to each of 3.30 lakh flood affected farmer families and another 50,000 fishermen for the next one month till July this year," he said.

The food aid under Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme is being provided free of cost to the flood affected poor families as about 8 to 9 lakh families have been affected in floods, he said.

Even the food-aid programme is likely to be continued after July till the next harvest, Maya added.

With Disaster Management and Relief Secretary M Shah Kamal in the chair, the meeting was also attended by representatives of different ministries and agencies, including senior secretaries of different ministries.

Besides, the government is carrying out food-aid under open market sale (OMS) and fair price card programmes. Rice is being sold at the prices of Taka 15 and Taka 10 respectively under those programmes.

Replying to a query on irregularities in relief distribution, Maya said a 'zero tolerance' policy would be followed if anybody found involve in corruption in during the course of relief distribution in the haor areas.

"None will be spared if any specific allegation is found against anybody regarding the relief distribution," said the minister, adding, "We have already taken punitive actions against an official of the Water Development Board."

Month-long incessant rainfall along with onrush of upstream water since March 29 caused severe devastations in six haor districts -- Sunamganj, Sylhet, Netrokona, Kishorganj, Hobiganj and Moulvibazar. Nearly 9 lakh poor families were in the calamities.

Boro crops on nearly 2.50 lakh hectares of land and 18,205 households have been devastated partially or completely due to the flood.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)