10 Facts About Hunger In Bangladesh

Hunger is a huge issue in Bangladesh. Please help the World Food Programme (WFP) raise awareness by sharing the following ten hunger facts:

1) Undernutrition costs Bangladesh more than USD one billion in lost productivity every year, and even more in health care costs.

2) Forty-one percent of children (approx. 7 million) under the age of five are chronically undernourished; they are too short for their age, a condition known as stunting.

3) Even in the wealthiest households, 26 percent of children under the age of five are stunted, and 12 percent are wasted (have low weight-for-height). Clearly undernutrition is not restricted to the poorest families. 

4) A third of children from six months to just under five years of age are anaemic.

5) Sixteen percent of children under five in Bangladesh are wasted (low weight-for-height).

6) Only 25 percent of children's diets have adequate dietary diversity where a minimum of four food groups out of seven are consumed on a daily basis.

7) Forty percent of school-aged children are iron deficient.

8) Among women, 24 percent are underweight and 13 percent are short in stature, which increases the likelihood that their children will be stunted.

9) Despite growth in wages over the past five years, food price spikes place balanced diets beyond the reach of millions, particularly the urban poor and rural landless.

10) Sacrifices in food consumption in favour of children, particularly in times of scarcity, is highly gender biased. In most cases, it is an adult woman who must make a sacrifice.

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.


1) REACH: Under nutrition in Bangladesh A common narrative FAO (2012), the State of Food Insecurity in the World, Rome.
2) UNICEF 2013: Improving child undernutrition.
3) Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2011
4) Nutrition Situation Analysis, Bangladesh.
5) UNICEF 2013: Improving child undernutrition. 
6) International Conference on Nutrition, Country Nutrition Paper, ICN2.
7) Nutrition Situation Analysis, Bangladesh.
8) Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey BDHS (2011). 
9) Helen Keller International and James P. Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH). 2014, State of Food security and nutrition in Bangladesh: 2013.
10)“Impact of climate-related shocks and stresses on food security and nutrition in rural Bangladesh.” Helen Keller International, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, and the Institute of Development Studies, in partnership with the World Food Programme, and funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.