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National food program in Bangladesh facing serious allegations

A program set up to aid those in low socio-economic brackets or those suffering from natural disasters in Bangladesh is under investigation, IRIN reports.

The VGF program, a national group that provides food security to low income and other vulnerable citizens, is now under fire. The organization helps those who can't get food or water on their own because of age, illness or disease, which amounts to upwards of 5 million people.

On September 8, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), released a report that showed that almost 80 percent of those enrolled in the program in the Gaibandha District hadn't been receiving their rations. Out of 13 villages, only 1,000 families were given their designated food supplies. The report also found that in some villages, government officials took 600 VGF cards from families.

"The unabated corruption will further endanger the lives of the poorest of the poor and the total number of such victims will be increased," AHRC programme officer Ashrafuzzaman Zaman told the news outlet.

After viewing the report, the Bangladesh government is beginning an investigation into the allegations of corruption.

"We take these allegations very seriously and will do our utmost to ensure that everyone who qualifies receives the help they need," Food and Disaster Management Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque told the news source.
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