The Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCBD) has been working for eight years with people living along Bangladesh’s southern coast, helping them stand up to the enormous challenges of poverty and climate change.
Its innovative programs include adaptive technologies and skills training – for example, how to recycle plastic bottles into vertical platforms for gardening in small spaces (pictured), which addresses the problems of food insecurity and pollution at the same time.
Now CCDB is extending its accompaniment of coastal communities as they face a new challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic.
With $10,000 support from UCC Wider Church Ministries and other sources, CCBD is helping sustain 500 vulnerable families with food and sanitation materials.
Priority is being given to day laborers idled by the pandemic-related shutdown, farmers and fishers unable to market their produce, disabled persons, ethnic minorities, widows and the elderly.
The COVID-19 situation also is very serious next door to Bangladesh, in India. Of particular concern: daily wage earners locked down at home and returned migrants.
UCC Wider Church Ministries approved $5,000 for international partner Churches’ Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) to assist approximately 575 people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, with food rations and supplies to fight COVID-19 including soap, masks, gloves and other sanitary products.
For both Bangladesh and India, funds are from the UCC Disaster Ministries COVID-19 International Relief Grant.
Deenabandhu Manchala, Global Ministries Area Executive for Southern Asia, recommended both the CASA and CCDB projects for the funding, emphasizing the “urgent need for practical support for these especially vulnerable people.”