The month of Ramadan is a time when Muslims fast to seek Allah's blessings, His forgiveness and mercy. Ramadan is an opportunity to reap great spiritual rewards for acts of devotion and a reminder for us to reach out to our less privileged brethren in a way that they get empathy and support for them to retain their dignity and respect as they struggle to make their two ends meet in this Holy month.
Islamic Relief, in this month reaches out to them through one of its seasonal program to provide standard food rations to the marginalised poor, particularly the women-headed households and the ones that have orphan children, elderly people especially who are fasting during the holy Ramadan.
This is also a month when poor communities in Bangladesh face food crisis due to rising food prices, flood, river erosion, higher fuel costs and an increased demand. They cannot afford to buy food that they and their families need. As a result, more and more people go hungry, face gross malnutrition and keep sliding back into a cycle of poverty. Ramadan puts extra stress on them in getting access to at least three full meals. In some cases, after whole day of fasting, a vast majority of rural poor particularly marginalized communities don't get nutritious food.
Ramadan is an ideal time for Islamic Relief to empathize with those who go without food. Every year Islamic Relief raises resources from its donor partners across the world to help the rural poor of Bangladesh and distributes basic food items for Iftar and Sahari countrywide.
In the year 2011 the Ramadan project started on 1st August, 2011. Under the Ramadan project food packets were distributed to 5700 families across 23 districts of Bangladesh covering 22,480 individual beneficiaries. Each packet contained 15 kilogram rice, 3 kilogram lentils, one and half liter cooking oil, one and half kilogram chickpeas and one and half kilogram sugar.
The packet was distributed to the vulnerable poorest family either through local NGOs, or through community based organizations or by Islamic Relief directly. Islamic Relief distributed the food directly in areas where it has its direct field presence. The covering districts were chosen considering the severity of poverty and natural disaster proneness.
The families were selected in a participatory way with the active participation of the community in group-meeting.
In Faridpur district, through a partnership with Beneficiary Friendship Forum (BFF), and in the presence of District Commissioner Helaluddin Ahmed and Country Director of Islamic Relief Worldwide Bangladesh- "Javed Ameer" and Program Manager of Islamic Relief "Mostak Hussain", distributed 200 packets on 7th August 2011.
'Astha Social development organization', one of the partner of Islamic Relief at Dinajpur district distributed food packets to 200 families in the presence of the district Commissioner "Jamal Uddin Ahmed" and Municipal Commissioner, " Ziaur Rahman Nawsad"
The project compliments other food security projects of Islamic Relief Worldwide Bangladesh and covers areas that are not covered by other programs yet the communities are vulnerable for various reasons
Islamic Relief Bangladesh is contributing for poverty alleviation in Bangladesh by integrating the community participation in vulnerable areas since April 1991 particularly to reduce and mitigate human sufferings during and after any emergencies and disasters.