Portraits Of Hunger: Shahida (Bangladesh)

In Bangladesh WFP is reaching barely 1 million people out of a target 5 million who cannot afford to buy the food they need for their families.

14-month-old Shahida has a healthy appetite and enjoys eating WFP’s nutritious fortified blended food – straight from the container!  This specially vitamin-enriched food is giving her a chance to put her acutely malnourished past behind her.

More assistance during this critical period will give her the nutrition she needs to develop properly mentally and physically – and to reach her full potential later in life.

But WFP will soon be forced to cut her rations.

Which means that Shahida will have to return to a life of one or two meals of rice a day - and to a future where malnutrition threatens to stunt her physical and mental development – and to leave her much more susceptible to disease. Hungry Get Hungrier As Food Aid Funding Stutters

Crushed by hunger, weather-related disasters, high food prices, and the global economic downturn.

  •  Bangladesh is home to some of the poorest and hungriest people in the world and has the highest prevalence of underweight children in South Asia.  65 million out of 150 million Bangladeshis cannot meet their basic food needs.
  • Acute malnutrition levels in Bangladesh are above the emergency threshold and are higher than many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. More than 2 million children are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 50% of child deaths in Bangladesh.
  • High food prices, weather-related disasters and the global economic downturn have exacerbated the food security situation – while funding shortfalls will soon severely impede WFP’s ability to continue reaching the poorest of the poor.
  • Due to its budget shortfall, WFP has only been able to assist 1 million people out of 5 million it was targeting in a programme designed to assist those seriously affected by high food prices.  As a result, 4 million of Bangladesh's hungriest people are struggling to feed themselves, repeatedly skipping meals and sometimes going a whole day without food.
  • Unless WFP receives more funding soon, an additional 1.3 million malnourished women and children will no longer receive vital rations of fortified blended food.  This will undoubtedly lead to increases in wasting, stunting and underweight rates.