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Government of Bangladesh and WFP working together to lift rural women out of extreme poverty

DHAKA– The World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the Government of Bangladesh to lift rural women out of extreme poverty through a ground-breaking programme. With an investment of US$72 million, the Government, with technical assistance from WFP, is set to reach 100,000 women with livelihood training, behaviour change education, as well as food assistance.

The participants of the Investment Component for Vulnerable Group Development (ICVGD) programme come from all 64 districts of the country, residing in remote areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and cyclones. They face high poverty levels with low employment opportunities.

“WFP applauds the Government for its commitment towards empowering women and achieving food security in Bangladesh,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Bangladesh. “Thanks to commitments like this, rural women will now have a chance to transform their lives and that of their children through skills and knowledge.”

Currently in its second phase, the programme consists of training in entrepreneurship, financial management and life skills, as well as behaviour change education in the areas of nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Each participant will receive a start-up grant of BDT15,000 (US$180) and a monthly ration of 30 kg of fortified rice during their training period.

During the first phase of this programme, which started in 2015, 8,000 rural women were provided with similar support. An evaluation of the first phase showed improvements in income, food security and dietary diversity of these women and their families.  A positive change in their decision-making ability was also observed.

Run by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, ICVGD is part of the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme, which is the largest safety net programme targeting extremely poor and vulnerable women and their households in Bangladesh.

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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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Bangladesh Development Food Security


For more information please contact (email address:

Seetashma Thapa, WFP/Dhaka, Mob. +88 01713012386

Maherin Ahmed, WFP/Dhaka, Mob. +88 01755642160