US ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozena and USAID Bangladesh Mission director Richard Greene announced the commitment of $200 Million in development assistance for fiscal 2012 at a press conference in Dhaka this week.
Dan W Mozena said: “This increase in development assistance emphasises the US’ long-term commitment to co-operate with Bangladesh to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development,”
“I’m here to announce America’s commitment to partner with the people of Bangladesh, government of Bangladesh, civil society of Bangladesh to build a new Bangladesh, Sonar Bangladesh, middle-income Bangladesh, where citizens have good livelihoods and the means to live in good, safe housing and to provide their families ample, nutritious food, good healthcare and quality education for their children,” said Dan Mozena. He said America’s partnership in Bangladesh was the largest in Asia outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan. “Our partnership in Bangladesh is growing…our support this year is a nearly 10% increase over the last year.”
The US ambassador said the partnership would supports Bangladesh’s emerging democratic institutions by engaging with parliament, improving public awareness of the judicial sector, promote local government, support citizens’ right to information, and protect Bangladeshi men, women and children from predators who seek traffic them into labour or sexual exploitation.
Accordingly, the United States of America is to provide $200 million assistance to Bangladesh for development activities in five major areas, including health and education, democracy, governance and food security.
The development assistance will come through the programmes of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), including USAID/Washington central programmes. Of the total fund, Usaid will provide $6mn to build Bangladesh’s capacity for democratic representation, strengthen its institutions of good governance, promote human rights and support a culture of tolerance.
The assistance, which is an increase of approximately $17 million over the previous fiscal year, demonstrates the US government’s ongoing support to Bangladesh to achieve long-term development objectives as reflected in the Bangladesh government’s Sixth Five Year Plan, US officials confirmed.
$74 million would be invested in health programmes to promote voluntary family planning, improve maternal and child health, support better water and sanitation practices and prevent and treat tuberculosis and HIV/Aids, among other diseases.
Besides, Usaid will provide approximately $4 million for basic education. In support of food security, the Usaid will provide $52mn to increase agricultural production, build links to markets, raise income, and stimulate economic growth.
USAID funds projects all over the world. This year’s budget will now include Bangladesh. USAID offers a downloadable spreadsheet (Excel format) illustrating some key characteristics of how USAID’s funds are obligated for FY11 and FY12 (through March 31).