Over the last year the project had pivoted to support the Covid-19 response in the country – so ripping away funding at this time is disastrous. Below are just some of the ways the project was working to tackle the pandemic.
- Provided vehicles, sample collectors and lab technicians in coordination with local government for sample collection, transportation and testing
- Screened people with disabilities for Covid-19
- Video call booths set up for teleconsultations
- Distributed PPE and IPC items to health facilities
- Provided protective hygiene kits to caregivers and family members of people living with disabilities
The project was a part of Government of Bangladesh’s National Health Strategy, and the government is unlikely to be in a position to quickly fill the gap created by the sudden withdrawal of this work. This could cause a major setback to the Covid-19 emergency response.
We understand the economic pressures that the UK government is under as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic but the decision to reduce the aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% will not significantly contribute to meeting the fiscal deficit. However, these cuts will have serious consequences on the lives of the people that UK Aid had committed to improving.