DHAKA – WFP is rolling out a new programme to support undernourished women and children in Cox’s Bazar district, where almost 20 percent of children under the age of five are undernourished.
The programme provides nutritional support to moderately undernourished children under five years of age, to pregnant and nursing women, and includes nutrition education for the wider community.
With the financial support of AusAID, WFP is working with the government and a local NGO, the Society for Health Extension and Development (SHED), to provide a package of nutrition interventions in all unions of Teknaf and Ukhiya Upazilas.
WFP plans to assist 14,800 children and 2,000 pregnant and nursing women through the programme. Action Contre La Faim (ACF) will complement this with their programme to treat severely undernourished children and to build the capacity of SHED to address undernutrition. ACF is also helping improve services provided by health facilities in the two Upazilas.
The programmes adopt a community-based approach and function as far as possible through existing government health infrastructure.
“The rolling out of this programme to improve maternal and child nutrition with the government is an important step in the fight against undernutrition in Cox’s Bazar.” said Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh. “By acting now to address the critical first 1000 days of life and the period up to age five, WFP aims to help children reach their full potential later in life.”