Welcome: Food Security Atlas for Bangladesh

“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food, and to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

World Food Summit Plan of Action (Rome Italy 13 November 1996)


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Over 40 percent of the population in Bangladesh live below the food poverty line, of whom 28 million are ”ultra poor” - consuming less than 1,800 calories a day, lacking productive assets and adequate food to provide for their sustenance.

WFP Country Office: Dhaka
Sub-Offices: Dhaka/Mymensingh, Chittagong, Cox's Bazaar, Rangamati, Rangpur, Jessore
WFP Presence: Since 1974
WFP beneficiaries: 5.3 million,
Vulnerable Group Development – 1,157,690 beneficiaries
Community Nutrition – 23,004 participants
School Feeding – 550,000 children
Enhanced Resilience - 186,170 beneficiaries
Assistance to Refugees - 23,862 beneficiaries
Assistance to Cyclone Affected People - 3,420,521
Population: 145 million
Children Under 5 – 12.3 %
Human Development Index Rank: 140
Per Capita GDP (PPP$): 2,053
Adult Literacy:
Men – 53.9%
Women –40.8%
Primary School Attendance:
Boys – 77%
Girls – 79.4%
Population Undernourished – 30%
Children Under 5 Suffering From:
Underweight – 41%
Stunting –43.2%
Wasting – 17.4%

Since 1974, WFP has delivered millions of tons of food aid to Bangladesh. With support from WFP, communities receiving assistance have upgraded 135,000 kilometres of roads, planted over 37 million trees and given the country its first fortified whole meal wheat- flour mills. WFP targets vulnerable women in food-insecure areas, helps to improve their nutritional well-being and acquire life and income-generating skills, increasing their mobility and participation in decision-making bodies. WFP school feeding programmes have contributed to increased attendance and enrolment rates for primary schoolchildren. Food-for-work activities have allowed poor people to gain skills through building infrastructure such as roads, schools and irrigation canals. WFP aims to enhance preparedness and create additional infrastructure to mitigate the negative impact of the country’s recurrent natural hazards.


Country Programme

The goal of WFP’s Country Programme is to support the Government of Bangladesh to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by improving ultra poor households’ food security, nutritional well being and livelihoods. CP has the following activities:

Activity 1: Vulnerable Group Development Focuses on income-generating and social awareness training for “ultra poor” vulnerable women through food assistance and development support in partnership with NGOs.

Activity 2: Community Nutrition Targets vulnerable communities and ultra poor individuals in the most food-insecure areas, focusing on community-based nutrition interventions, with priority to pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children under 2 years of age.

Activity 3: Food-For-Education Provides assistance to pre-primary and primary schoolchildren in highly food insecure areas, specifically vulnerable rural communities. Each child receives a pack of micronutrient-fortified biscuits that are produced by local biscuit factories. The school children are de-wormed twice a year in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF.

Activity 4: Enhance Resilience Provides food for training to develop skills in preparedness, planning and survival during crises, and implements food-for-work activities to reinforce disaster-resistant community assets. The activity also builds preparedness among local institutions, including pre-positioning of relief items and established a financial mechanism for rapid disbursement of funds for emergency activities.

Activity 5: Strengthening National Capacity to manage Food-assistance and Hunger-reduction Programmes Promotes dialogues and advocates for strategies to address hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and brings together best practices, together with partners.

Assistance to Refugees from Myanmar

In the early 1990s approximately 250,000 people from Rakhine State in Myanmar took refuge in southeast Bangladesh. Repatriation started in 1992 and by mid-1997 more than 90 percent had returned, leaving a residual group of around 22,000 refugees. In the absence of any durable solution despite the continuing efforts of UNHCR and the international community, WFP continues to provide food assistance to this Rohingya population in partnership with UNHCR and NGOs. Goals include safeguarding the nutritional status of the refugee population and improving their self-reliance through participation in training and educational activities. Due to the continued need for humanitarian support, a fifth phase of the PRRO (10045.4) with the same mode of operation and coverage has been approved refugees for another two years beginning 1 January 2009.

Food Assistance to Cyclone-Affected Population in Southern Bangladesh

The objectives of the emergency operation were to meet the immediate food needs of the people in severely affected areas to maintain adequate food consumption and to prevent deterioration of the nutritional status of women and children while restoring livelihoods and rural community infrastructures in the affected areas through General Food Distribution, Emergency School Feeding, Micro-Nutrient Powder Initiative and Food-For work and Cash-For-Work involving the worst affected districts Comprehensive contingency plan, capacity building efforts, pre-positioning of commodities and stand-by agreements with partners enabled WFP to reach beneficiaries within 24 hours of the disaster.

Emergency Safety Net for Vulnerable Groups Affected by High Food Prices and Natural Disasters in Bangladesh

WFP launched a new emergency operation aimed at providing emergency safety net assistance to five million people affected by high food prices for a period of nine months Components of this EMOP are: Targeted Relief Assistance, Nutrition Intervention, School Feeding, Employment Generation and Technical Assistance to strengthen the capacity of the government to design and manage effective safety nets. Beneficiaries including pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls will receive wheat-soya blend through the Supplementary Feeding Programme under Nutrition Initiative of which severely malnourished children (6-24 months) will receive family ration of rice and pulses.

Download WFP Bangladesh Country Sheet here .

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