Bangladesh: Protecting and Promoting Food Security and Nutrition for Families and Children in Bangladesh
Specifically, the programme sought to reduce underweight and malnutrition in children 6-59 months and acute malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women through:
- Homestead food production;
- In-kind food transfers;
- Community-based management of acute malnutrition;
- School feeding and gardening; and
- Strengthening food security and nutrition information systems.
Main achievements included:
- The programme's targeting of agricultural, health and educational inputs in particularly vulnerable coastal areas of southern Bangladesh resulted in an almost total elimination of young child wasting in program areas, a significant but smaller reduction in malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women, and significant improvements in household food security.
- The prevalence of severe acute malnutrition in children under age 5 fell to zero from initial prevalence rates of between 2.12% and 0.89%, rising subsequently only to 0.02% and 0.04%. Moderate acute malnutrition fell from between 9 and 11% to 1% with rare occasions of relapse. Malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women using mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) tapes fell less sharply – from 7.0% to 5.1%.
- The programme also improved household food consumption. The percentage of households in program areas with gardens increased more than four-fold, and the percentage of household income derived from gardens and poultry increased more than three times, from 2.7% at baseline to 9.3% at end line. The percentage of households consuming eggs or meat on the day previous to the survey more than doubled (from 20.4% to 44.1%), while the percentage consuming a milk product increased significantly from 16.8 to 24.7%.
- Monitoring of the school program found significant increases in both enrollment and attendance.
- The initiative improved nutrition and food security-related data and information and produced an important health/nutrition assessment of urban slums in the country, a valuable mapping exercise and studies on women’s empowerment and MUAC. It also permitted the development of an integrated database likely to be useful in future multi-sectoral pursuits.
Click here for more detailed results of the Joint Programmes in Bangladesh.