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USAID official hints at more Sidr aid PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Staff Correspondent

Washington may pledge additional assistance including food air for Bangladesh to overcome cyclone shocks, a senior USAID official said in Dhaka.

Bangladesh's request for further assistance has been under active consideration of the US Congress, said Mark Ward, assistant administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

'And I look forward to a day in coming weeks when we will be able to announce in Washington for additional American assistance for Bangladesh,' he told reporters at the foreign office after a meeting with adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury on Monday.

The USAID official visited worst-hit Patharghata in Barguna district and appreciated the rehabilitation works being carried out there by the government, army and NGOs.

In reply to a question, Ward said it would be better for the US government to respond effectively if it got a precise picture of crop damage, now being assessed by UN agencies FAO and WFP.

Economic and trade issues, including Bangladesh's long-standing demand for duty- and quota-free access to US market also came up during his talks with the foreign adviser.

Iftekhar did not elaborate on the outcome, but hoped that the visit of the USAID official would strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations.

US charge d' affaires Geeta Pasi and USAID mission director Denise Rollins were present in the meeting.

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