Thursday, September 24, 2020

Health

B'desh govt failed to distribute relief material properly: Economist

IANS | August 04, 2020 02:09 PM

DHAKA:The Bangladesh government has failed to distribute relief material properly, claimed famous economist and labour rights activist MM Akash.
In an exclusive interview with IANS, the economist said: "It is true that the Bangladesh government has failed to distribute the relief and other health materials to the properly targeted people.

"This is because the government has a list of the extreme poor, but not the moderate poor or lower middle class. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led them (moderate poor or lower middle class) to a big crisis only to be enhanced by the floods. So those people need big support by the relief and other health materials.

"But the 1st problem is, the list is not there, 2nd problem is, how to deliver it. The cash donation can be delivered through Bkash and any mobile network system, but they need the mobile number of the targeted people."

He added that the major problems were ‘Inclusion error' and ‘Exclusion error'.

"The ‘Inclusion error' is, they're including those people, who are not really eligible for the relief and the 'Exclusion error' is, they are exclusing those who really deserve the relief."

The government can organize a team including social experts and right activists, which can help to overcome this crisis, Akash told IANS.

He further said that there was also a problem with a lack of coordination.

"As example, lack of coordination will imply much allocation to apply, where the crisis is not so severe. Or less allocation to apply, where the crisis is severe. This kind of mis-allocation may occur due to lack of coordination."

The distribution of relief materials among low-income people, whose livelihood has been badly affected due to the lockdown amid the coronavirus spread, is facing mismanagement for lack of coordination among the aid providers.

Different government and non-government agencies, social organisations and people from all walks of life have come forward to extend their helping hand to low-income people and those, who live hand to mouth.

Akash concluded with a suggestion: "If the list of extremely poor is there, and although it has some problem, the government should first try to reach those people."

There must also be a cross-check, he said, adding that "if a mistake is found in the list, it should be corrected. So, in the next stage, the mistake doesn't come back".

Meanwhile, the government is continuing relief distribution across the country as part of its humanitarian assistance to reduce people's sufferings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 2, 11, 017 metric tonnes of rice has already been allocated in 64 districts.

Besides, 122 crore taka has been distributed in cash for the purchase of baby food and other items, says NDRCC.

The aid, allocated through the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief is being distributed through the entire district and Upazila administrations of Bangladesh.

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