DHAKA, Bangladesh -- United States Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller and representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service handed over essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to National Board of Revenue Chairman Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem as part of U.S. assistance to Bangladesh’s COVID-19 response efforts. To date, the U.S. government has provided nearly $37 million to complement the Government of Bangladesh’s ongoing efforts to prepare and respond to the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Embassy Dhaka-donated equipment delivered today includes 1,500 masks and full-body gowns. Bangladesh’s National Board of Revenue will distribute the PPE equipment to Customs inspectors and workers to protect these brave men and women against the spread of COVID-19. The PPE will enable the Customs Department to continue performing their critical work of processing import and export clearances at the country’s six (6) Customs Houses, including Chattogram and Mongla Customs House.
U.S. Embassy Dhaka continues working in close partnership with the Government of Bangladesh on a range of programs to identify and alleviate critical medical shortages across the country, including on the distribution of PPE and other medical supplies to Bangladesh first responders and designated COVID-19 medical treatment facilities. Today’s delivery of U.S. funded, locally produced PPE is one of many Embassy initiatives that demonstrates the United States’ continuing commitment to the Bangladeshi people, to promoting mutual understanding and trade between our two countries, and to a strong partnership in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. government has committed more than $1 billion worldwide in emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance specifically aimed at helping governments, international organizations, and NGOs fight the pandemic. This funding saves lives by improving public health education, protecting healthcare facilities, and increasing laboratory, disease-surveillance, and rapid-response capacity in more than 120 countries. In Bangladesh, the nearly $37 million in funding and technical assistance builds on more than $1 billion in health assistance provided to Bangladesh over the past 20 years and underscores the long-term U.S. commitment to ensuring access to quality, lifesaving health services for all people in Bangladesh.
U.S. Embassy Dhaka is proud to donate this essential PPE to Customs Department officials working to ensure the supply of critical goods, including food and agricultural products. This donation is in addition to other donations from the U.S. Embassy, including recent donations to Kamalapur Railway General Hospital and Bangladesh’s Fire Service and Civil Defense. Bangladesh’s Customs officials and other key staff are critical frontline personnel to ensure the country’s food supply. They together with health care workers, first responders, and people who work in grocery stores and pharmacies perform remarkable acts of service every day.