DHAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme Executive Board has approved a one-year extension of the current Bangladesh Country Programme to provide support to 2.1 million hungry, vulnerable and malnourished people at a cost of nearly US$76 million.
The decision will enable WFP to continue development programmes to reduce malnutrition and improve the food security of ultra-poor households in Bangladesh until the end of 2011.
The one-year extension of the ongoing country programme will not only strengthen our partnership with the Government but also support Bangladesh in achieving its Millennium Development Goals. We are committed to continue our focus on the provision of food assistance to the ultra-poor population,” said Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh.
WFP has supported the Government’s Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme, the largest safety net programme in Bangladesh, for 30 years. In line with its new country strategy, WFP’s food distribution programme under VGD will be phased out by the end of 2010. The Government has increased its own food and cash contributions to VGD and will cover the needs previously met by WFP. Meanwhile WFP will provide support to the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to enhance programme management.
As a part of gradually handing over the school meals programme to the Government, WFP will also extend technical support to the national school feeding programme, in addition to providing food assistance to 1.2 million school children.
WFP will continue to place emphasis on enhancing the resilience of the disaster-stricken communities through food-for-work and cash-for-work schemes, thereby ensuring the creation of community assets that protect the livelihoods of the most vulnerable.
Community nutrition for vulnerable groups will continue to focus on areas with high child undernutrition. With sufficient funding, WFP will be able to reach 125,000 acutely undernourished women and children, including 82,000 children under five, 31,000 pregnant and nursing women and another 12,000 children aged 6-24 months, who will receive specialized blended food fortified with micronutrients at certain times of the year.