Switzerland has decided to provide additional 9.8 million Swiss Francs (approximately 90 crore taka) to Bangladesh for scaling up its support for an effective community-based response here in combating COVID pandemic.
“With these additional funds, Switzerland broadens its engagement with national and international partner organizations, in close collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, to help local communities curb the spread of the pandemic and reinforce socioeconomic resilience,” a press release, issued by Swiss embassy said here today.
Since the first outbreak of the pandemic in April last year, it said, Switzerland has earmarked 17 million Swiss Francs (160 crore taka) to over 20 projects across Bangladesh, reaching the most vulnerable and remote communities and supporting organizations working at the frontline.
So far, with Swiss support, around 1.5 million people were sensitized and trained on upholding hygiene standards, one million received telemedicine services for better treatment of COVID-19; 130000 slum dwellers received hygiene kits and 80000 gained access to handwashing facilities while 115000 people received cash and 60000 food or vitamin contributions, said the release.
Moreover, the embassy said, four helplines were established, offering psychosocial and legal support to survivors of gender-based violence.
Following the pledge of an additional 300 million Swiss Francs to the COVAX facility, the Swiss Federal Council on Wednesday announced the donation of 4 million Astra Zeneca vaccines to this multilateral initiative for ensuring vaccines for all that is key to find a way out of this unprecedented global crisis.
This will help get more Covid-19 vaccines deployed more quickly to developing countries, the release added.