1.1m primary, pre-primary children to get food assistance from WFP
Reported by: UNBconnect
Reported on: Mar 07, 2012 03:49 pm
Reported in: National
Dhaka, Mar 07 (UNB) - The International Women’s Day to be observed tomorrow (Thursday) will commemorate the economic, political and social achievements of women's past, present and future.
On the occasion, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) honours all women in Bangladesh who struggle every day to feed their children, families and communities, said a WFP press release.
“WFP is convinced that women must be front and centre in efforts to fight hunger and under-nutrition,” said Christa Rader, WFP Bangladesh Country Director and Representative.
He said, “Working towards gender equality and supporting the contribution of women to the development of Bangladesh are crucial to tackling maternal and child under-nutrition and achieving this nation’s development goals."
The release said over the past 40 years, Bangladesh has made tremendous strides in fighting against poverty and hunger.
Bangladesh has triple rice production, expanded economic growth and is well set to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals. But progress on gender equality has not always kept pace with economic development, the release added.
It said sixty million Bangladeshis remain food-insecure, with women and girls facing significant additional challenges.
A high prevalence of adolescent pregnancies and under-nutrition in mothers means that nutrition deficiencies are more likely to be passed from one generation to another, with more than one in every three children born underweight.
Far too many girls are still denied schooling, leave prematurely or complete school with few skills and opportunities. Half of all girls in Bangladesh get married before the age of 16.
In 2011, the release said, WFP assisted over 2 million people, of which 88 percent were ultra poor women and children. WFP pays special attention to improving the nutritional status of pregnant and nursing women through the provision of fortified foods and training in dietary diversity and other key life skills.
WFP’s School Feeding Programme provides incentive to families to send children to school, boosts enrollment and attendance and reduces dropout rates. This year 1.1 million primary and pre-primary children in Bangladesh will receive food assistance from WFP.
Through the innovative Food Security for the Ultra Poor (FSUP) programme, WFP helps 30,000 of the poorest women in the country set up small businesses, creating the foundation for greater food security for their families and their communities.
In disaster-prone areas, where WFP supports communities in building resilience to natural disasters, women from the most food-insecure households are the primary participants of all food and cash-for-work activities.