The Sun Will Keep Smiling: USAID Launches NGO Health Services Delivery Project

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DHAKA – In April 2009, Rokhsana thought she would never survive her fifth pregnancy. Out of her four previous pregnancies, all home deliveries, only two children had survived. Searching for a reliable and affordable healthcare facility, Rokhsana found the USAID-supported Smiling Sun rural clinic in Patia, Chittagong. With proper treatment and care, both Rokhsana and her newborn survived.

Over the last five years, Smiling Sun, the health franchise program supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), made integrated family planning and health services available to hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis in both urban and rural areas through 327 clinics nationwide, operated by a network of 26 NGOs. Approximately 28 percent of the patients are poor.

Today, the United States, through USAID, launched the newest phase of its largest investment in Bangladesh, the NGO Health Services Delivery Project. The four-year $55 million project will continue to provide basic health services through Smiling Sun clinics in underserved areas in Bangladesh. The project will support the delivery of health services at an affordable cost, strengthen health systems, and develop public-private partnerships to improve health outcomes. Smiling Sun clinics will continue to complement the Government of Bangladesh’s health services delivery program. This project is part of US President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative, an integrated, results-driven approach to health development.

The U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided over $6 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971. In 2012 alone, USAID provided more than $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh. USAID supports programs in Bangladesh that: promote democratic institutions and practices, expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education services, and increase resiliency to climate change through adaptation and low carbon development.