Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Two U.S.-funded programs entered $ 95 million pacts with the government on Tuesday as part of a newly expanded effort for reduction of hunger and improve nutrition in Bangladesh. 
Nobo Jibon (New Life) and PROSHAR (Program for Strengthening Household Access to Resources) will receive approximately BDT 6.555 Billion (US$ 95 million) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) over the next five years, a US embassy press statement said in Dhaka on Tuesday. 
Through these new initiatives, USAID will work to increase incomes of the poor and ultra poor, improve the health and nutrition of women and children, and strengthen households’ resiliency to natural disasters in the country’s two southern divisions of Khulna and Barisal.
The $95 million in funding includes both cash resources and a total of 229,742 metric tons of wheat, lentils, yellow split peas, and vegetable oil, according to the statement. 
PROSHAR will be implemented in the Khulna division by ACDI/VOCA, a U.S.-based NGO. Nobo Jibon will be implemented in the Barisal division by Save the Children, USA. Together, these programs aim to reach approximately 900,000 households.
The Bangladesh government, represented by the Disaster Management and Relief Division of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, is contributing over BDT 324 million (US$ 4.7 million) to support PROSHAR and Nobo Jibon. 
These funds will be used by ACDI/VOCA and Save the Children for technical assistance as well as health and disaster management training. Funds will also be used to complete community infrastructure projects and respond to disasters such as floods and cyclones in the Khulna and Barisal Divisions. 
The U.S. government, through USAID, is working to improve the lives of the people of Bangladesh, especially the very poor.  
BBN/SSR/SI/AD-04Aug10-1:18 am (BST)