Food Aid for The Poor: Smart cards for 1.25cr families

The government is working to develop a database of nearly 1.25 crore beneficiary families to ensure proper distribution of food aid and plug the loopholes in the current distribution system, said officials at two ministries.

Each recipient would be handed a smart Quick Response (QR) card, the officials said, adding that the cards would be issued soon for the distribution of rice and other aid among poor and low income families, who are facing food insecurity and hunger in absence of income as the economy remains under severe strain for a month-long shutdown since March 26.

The database and the issuance of smart cards will help remove duplication, eliminate ghost lists and reduce corruption related to the government’s safety net programs, said NM Zeaul Alam, senior secretary at Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division under the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology.

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