May 22, 2020


Bangladesh evacuated 2.4 million people from path of Cyclone Amphan

Bangladesh has evacuated about 2.4 million people in a bid to avert losses from the havoc caused by the Cyclone Amphan on the coastline. The number of cyclone shelters has also been raised to 14,336 where 2.39 million people, the largest tally of people to be ever evacuated, are taking refuge. Social distancing rules were enforced in all the cyclone centres, according to media reports while more than 500,000 livestock were also moved to safety.

Bangladesh 3rd in global rice production: USDA

Bangladesh is going to clinch third place in global rice production with an increased output of 36 million metric tonnes. A recent World Agricultural Production report of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that Bangladesh will have 36 million metric tons or rice while Indonesia 34.9 million metric tonnes, India 118 million metric tonnes and China 149 million metric tonnes 2020/21 period. Bangladesh was 4th in rice production while Indonesia 3rd, India second and China first in the world. Despite the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns, agricultural outputs were maintained.

Around 80 million people get govt food and cash aid

In an effort to minimise people's plight amid the coronavirus crisis across the country, the government has so far provided food and financial assistance to around 80 million (people throughout the country, according to media reports. Around 50 million people of more than 10 million families have received the government's food aid and more than 30.3 million individuals got cash assistance during the novel coronavirus pandemic across the country. Quoting the 64 district administrations sources, a government report said 150,000 tonnes of rice (GR rice) out of the total allocated 163,000 tonnes, were distributed among 5,01,43,000 people of 11.4 million families. Cash money totalling over $10 million has so far been allocated, of which Tk 589.3 million has already been distributed among 68,69,000 families.

Beximco to give govt hospitals Remdesivir drug for free

Beximco Pharmaceuticals, the first Bangladeshi drug manufacturer to introduce remdesivir in the local market, will supply the medicine for free to government hospitals dedicated for Covid-19 patients. The company handed over 1,000 doses of the medicine to the government on Thursday. The drug will not be available through retail pharmacies, in compliance with the directives from Bangladesh drug regulatory authorities. The US drug regulators has cleared the emergency use of Remdesivir. Beximco is marketing the drug in the Bangladesh with the commercial name of Bemsivir.

$294 million project to help youth and expatriates

Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina announced that the government would provide financial assistances worth $294 million to two specialised banks to help the youths and expatriate Bangladeshis who became jobless amid the coronavirus pandemic. The government would give financial assistance to all mosques and 7,000 more Qawmi madrasas before the Eid-ul Fitr. Under another scheme, underprivileged people like those from the hijra (third gender) and bede (gypsy) communities would also be provided with financial help.

Health sector gets biggest bump up in next year’s development budget

In the wake of the Covid19 crisis, the government has raised the health sector budget to 28.92% in the next fiscal year, the highest amongst the 12 sectors. Next fiscal year, a big chunk has been allocated to the health sector that is bursting at the seams with the escalating caseloads from the ADP approved by the National Economic Council (NEC). Of the money going to the health sector, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have each approved $100 million to aid the government to meet the growing expenditure in the sector. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is also providing finances for the health sector.

Xi offers Bangladesh PM Chinese expertise to fight COVID-19

HPM Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina a team of coronavirus experts as COVID-19 cases and death toll from the disease continue to surge in Bangladesh. Xi made the proposal when he called her on Wednesday afternoon to know about Bangladesh’s current situation of the pandemic that originated in China. The Chinese president assured Hasina of continuing cooperation for Bangladesh’s development. Following the spirit of cooperation, in a separate video conference, officials of the Communist Party of China and Bangladesh Awami League also resolved greater cooperation to fight the Covid-19 menace.

Japan provides 2,000 PPE to Bangladesh

As part of Japan's initiative to support Bangladesh in containing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Embassy of Japan in Dhaka and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) jointly handed over 2,000 pieces of high quality personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gowns and goggles to the government of Bangladesh. The PPEs will be distributed to frontline health workers in technical cooperation project of Strengthening Health Systems through Organizing Communities (SHASTO) in Narsingdi, Cox's Bazaar, and Dhaka City North.

ICT training goes online

To wrestle with the uncertainties of these extraordinary times, the ICT division yesterday launched an interactive online training programme to give a boost to internet-based working culture, especially freelancing, which holds huge promise. Under the programme, the ICT division will train 40,000 youths who have passed HSC exams. Initially, the plan was to conduct training programmes physically across the country, but in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has decided to deliver training online. Bangladesh has the second largest online workforce in the world with 6.5 lakh freelancers and the government wants to take the sector forward.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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