Govt to provide food aid to flood-hit haor fishermen

DHAKA- The government has decided to provide food aid to the fishermen, now facing crisis following losing jobs in the wake of flashflood in haor areas, said Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya.

"Some 50,000 fishermen would get Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) cards as they also became paupers like the farmers in the flood-hit haor areas," he told an inter-ministerial disaster management coordination committee meeting on flood situation in haor areas at his ministry.

The minister said the government would arrange alternative employment opportunities for fishermen. The government has already disbursed Tk 10-15 crore district-wise and the programme would be implemented through union chairmen under a 40-day employment programme.

Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam, finance secretary Hedayt-Al-Mamun, disaster management and relief secretary M Shah Kamal, director general of disaster management directorate M Riaz Ahmed and officials concerned of different ministries were present.

Maya also said the government would provide VGF assistance initially to 3.30 lakh marginal people in the flood ravaged haor areas. "If the number increases, they would also get support," the minister assured.

"The food ministry and respective deputy commissioners have been asked to coordinate in distributing Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) cards, Open Market Sale (OMS) programme and other relief materials for bringing all affected people under the food assistance programme," he said.

The meeting requested to send high officials of respective ministries to finalize reports on the haror areas. In light of the reports, respective ministries have been asked to take effective and pragmatic steps to rehabilitee affected haor people immediately.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)