USAID, through its CHT Watershed Co-Management Activity, will foster an integrated ecosystem management approach through another $6 million in grant funding until August 2023 in addition to the ongoing support of $8 million, reports UNB.
It has also partnered with the Bangladesh forest department and local communities to plant 1,445 hectares of trees in reserve forests.
As part of the US embassy Dhaka's bilateral engagement with Bangladesh, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bangladesh mission director (MD) Derrick S Brown visited key USAID development programmes in Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) this week, said the embassy on Friday.
During his visit, he met residents, local government officials and community leaders to underscore the US government's commitment, through USAID, to work with the government of Bangladesh and other development partners to improve economic opportunities and promote conservation of the unique natural resources in the CHT.
MD Brown reviewed USAID's work with local communities to build resilient livelihoods and community-based forest management systems that sustain biodiversity and the region's water supply and improve incomes.
With a focus on improving water security, these programs have increased access to safe drinking water while reducing community dependence on timber and other forest products.
In Bandarban, MD Brown observed USAID's progress in improving food security outcomes for vulnerable populations and increasing resilience.
In August, USAID provided over $3 million to implementing partners, Helen Keller International and CARE, to assist the government of Bangladesh in responding to flooding that took place in July.
With USAID's support, Helen Keller International continues assisting over 4,500 households directly impacted in the Bandarban district in recovering from the flooding.
MD Brown also visited one of USAID's many Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters in the region, one which is currently undergoing refurbishment, and encouraged the community to be alert and resilient against disasters through appropriate maintenance of these shelters.
The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971.
In 2018, USAID provided nearly $219 million in development assistance 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 resilience to climate change.
MD Brown's visit to the Chattogram Hill Tracts is one of many ongoing initiatives of the US embassy in Bangladesh this year to promote greater cooperation, dialogue and mutual understanding between Bangladeshis and Americans.