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Since the first outbreak of the pandemic in March last year, Switzerland has earmarked 17 million Swiss Francs (Tk 1.6 billion) to over 20 projects across Bangladesh, reaching the most vulnerable and remote communities and supporting organisations working at the frontline.

These interventions have proven to be efficient in delivering timely remedy against the negative impacts of the pandemic. So far, with Swiss support, around 1.5 million people were sensitised and trained on upholding hygiene standards, one million people received telemedicine services for better treatment of Covid-19, 130,000 slum dwellers received hygiene kits and 80,000 gained access to hand washing facilities, 115,000 people received cash and 60,000 food or vitamin contributions.

Moreover, four helplines were established, offering psychosocial and legal support to survivors of gender based violence.

Ensuring vaccines for all is key to find a way out of this unprecedented global crisis and following the pledge of an additional 300 million Swiss Francs to the COVAX facility, the federal council yesterday announced the donation of 4 million Astra Zeneca vaccines to this multilateral initiative.

This will help get more Covid-19 vaccines deployed more quickly to developing countries.

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