US to provide additional food aid worth $40 dollars to Bangladesh

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Dhaka, May 4 (UNI) The United States today announced to donate food aid worth 40 million dollars to Bangladesh, in addition to its total food assistance of over 70 million dollars since October last, as the country is virtually struggling for food deficit.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh James Moriarty made the announcement at a press conference at the American Club.

Bangladesh suffered a huge production loss of rice due to twice flood and cyclone Sidr last year. However, the government expects bumper 'Boro' paddy this summer to meet the rice shortfall.

''These latest donations reflect our commitment to helping build a brighter tomorrow, even for Bangladesh 's most vulnerable citizens,'' Moriarty told reporters.

Of the latest commitment, 30 million dollars would be distributed over a three-year period that targets school children throughout the country via a school feeding programme while 10 million dollars is emergency food aid.

Under the school feeding programme, each of 3,50,000 primary school children throughout the country would get 75 grams of fortified biscuits each day as an incentive to stay in school so Bangladesh could prepare the next generation of leaders.

The emergency food aid of 10 million dollars would be for direct food distribution among Sidr-victims, who were still struggling to recover from the devastation.

It would also include recovery activities through food-for-work and cash-for-work programmes, emergency school feeding, and feeding pregnant and lactating mothers and children.

Earlier in the day, Ambassador Moriarty called on Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed expressing US commitment to assist the government and the people of Bangladesh .

''We had been here before the cyclone; we were here during the initial emergency relief phase; and we are here now to help Bangladesh move forward,'' he said.

Immediately after the cyclone Sidr, the US provided 20 million dollars to alleviate human sufferings and also funding an ongoing food aid programme of 48 million dollars that focuses on sustainable development.

In addition, the US donated two million dollars to WFP last week to feed primary school children in the Sidr-affected areas.

''We continue to look for other ways to assist ( Bangladesh ),'' said Moriarty, adding that they provided last week 100,000 dollars as an emergency response to severe crop damage by rat infestation in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

UNI XC MP BST1858

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