BANDARBAN, NOVEMBER 3, 2016 — Today the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts (MoCHTA) inaugurated SAPLING, its new five-year Sustainable Agriculture and Production Linked to Improved Nutrition Status, Resilience, and Gender Equity project, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Implemented by Helen Keller International, the USAID SAPLING project will improve food security and nutrition, empower women, and build resilience in some of the poorest areas in the Bandarban district.
People living in remote areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts often face difficulty in accessing healthcare, education, and other services. Other factors like environmental degradation and water scarcity place added pressure on communities. The USAID SAPLING project will bring together government and international and local NGOs to work in partnership with individuals, communities, and traditional institutions to help poor families improve their circumstances, increase their livelihoods, and lift themselves out of poverty.
At a special launch event, USAID Mission Director Janina Jaruzelski recognized challenges that people in the Hill Tracts face, saying that “while these challenges are significant and not always easy to overcome, overcoming them is possible if we work together.”
Minister of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, Secretary of MoCHTA Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, and others lauded this new partnership between the government and USAID and committed to work together to improve health, nutrition, and livelihoods across the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
The U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided more than $6 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. In 2015, USAID provided nearly $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programs that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resiliency to climate change.
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