Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industry Research (BCSIR) Chairman Professor Aftab Ali Shaikh at an agreement signing ceremony in Dhaka Yesterday Courtesy

The cash grant and aid package are meant to help them to overcome the fallout of Covid-19 pandemic

Some 7,000 households neighbouring Chandpai and Sarankhola Range of the Sundarbans have received cash grants and aid packages under a special emergency project “Covid-19 Mitigation Measures in the Sundarbans”.

Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are jointly implementing he innetiative, funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Deputy Minister for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Begum Habibun Nahar inaugurated the distribution of emergency aid packages and cash grants at the Chandpai Range Office premise on January 21, said a press release. 

Households dependent on natural resources of the Sundarbans have significantly been affected in ongoing Covid-19 pandemic due to reduced income as a result of limited access to the Sundarban’s resources, restricted movement, less demand of harvested products and price fall as well as shrinking of other income opportunities. 

The cash grant and aid package are meant to help these communities overcome the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Centre for Natural Resources Studies (CNRS) has been supporting the rollout of this effort, it said. 

In the inauguration event, senior BFD officials including Conservator of Forests, Khulna Circle Moyeenuddin Khan, Divisional Forest Officers of Sundarbans East Forest Division, Upazilla Chairman of Mongla, as well as GIZ Bangladesh and CNRS representatives, Chandpai Co-Management Committee members were present among others. 

In her speech, the deputy minister urged everyone to follow safety measures as well as joining hands with BFD to conserve our pride and our lifeline – the Sundarbans. 

She also thanked the German government for supporting this special initiative and expected continued cooperation in conservation and enrichment of Bangladesh’s vital forest resources, as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

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