Bangladesh will graduate from the least-developed country category during the period of this country strategic plan, having made significant progress towards zero hunger: the country is self-sufficient in production of rice, meat and fish and is on track to meet high-level targets for reduced stunting and wasting.
Nevertheless, Bangladesh faces an emerging “triple burden” of malnutrition. Interventions are required throughout food systems to enhance the availability of, access to and utilization of nutritious diets. Despite the progress towards gender equality evidenced in women’s participation in the garment sector, progressive legislation and policies and near parity in primary education, gender inequality persists, with an array of consequences for food security and nutrition.
The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has created a new group of poor and vulnerable Bangladeshis, disproportionately in urban areas, and may result in increases in poverty, inequality, early marriage and malnutrition. The pandemic comes at a time when severe climate-induced shocks, including historic flooding and cyclones, already call for urgent action. Shock-responsive social protection is increasingly recognized as a crucial intervention for meeting these challenges.
The situation of the Rohingya refugees remains concerning. Refugees’ food insecurity and economic vulnerability increased slightly in 2020 compared with 2019. The latest refugee influx emergency vulnerability assessment by WFP finds that 96 percent of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh would be unable to meet basic needs without assistance. The situation reflects a continued need for assistance, and calls for a comprehensive approach that considers social cohesion, the protection-related needs of the refugee population and sustainable solutions for the Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi communities affected by the crisis.
This country strategic plan is aligned with the United Nations sustainable development cooperation framework for Bangladesh for 2022‒2026 and the eighth five-year plan (covering the period July 2020‒June 2025) of the Government of Bangladesh. It is informed by the recommendations of an independent evaluation of the country strategic plan for 2017–2021 and consultation with key stakeholders. It will contribute to Strategic Results 1, 2, 4 and 8 of the WFP Strategic Plan (2017–2021) and Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 17 through four strategic outcomes:
- Strategic outcome 1: Populations affected by crisis in Bangladesh are able to meet basic food, nutrition and other essential needs during and after crises.
- Strategic outcome 2: By 2026, the nutrition needs of women, children and vulnerable groups in Bangladesh are met through national institutions that have enhanced capacities to design and implement gender- and nutrition-sensitive social safety net programmes.
- Strategic outcome 3: By 2026, vulnerable communities in Bangladesh are more resilient to shocks and natural disasters owing to enhanced national disaster management capacity and flexible nutrition- and gender-sensitive social safety net programmes.
- Strategic outcome 4: Vulnerable crisis-affected populations in Bangladesh benefit from enhanced coordination and improved common services during and after crises.
To contribute to these strategic outcomes, WFP will adopt four cross-cutting themes: country capacity strengthening, food systems, nutrition and digital innovation. Achievement of the strategic outcomes will be supported by strong partnerships with the Government of Bangladesh at all levels, close coordination with United Nations partners, and continued engagement of civil society, international financial institutions, donors, research partners and the private sector.