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The workshop on Food and Nutrition Security research in Bangladesh held

প্রকাশিতঃ ৩:৩৫ অপরাহ্ণ | নভেম্বর ২৬, ২০২০

Krishibid Din Mohammed Dinu,BAU

Urban populations are growing rapidly in Bangladeshand the major cities are expanding through different economic activities specially the establishment of manufacturing industries – which are termed as “peri-urban”. Economic development has ensured increased women’s participation in the labour force.But at the same time, the burden of domestic responsibility also mostly remains on their shoulder, which is affecting child care and nutrition. Child health is a common factor among urban population. In the urban areas, it is an issue of how children are fed and the care the childrenreceive. More and more children in Bangladesh are taken care-off by caregivers, sometimes adult relatives due to mothers’ involvement in the productive sector.

The speech was mentioned in a interim result presentation workshop on  Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) research by Professor Sadika Haque from Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) held on November 25 organized byThe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) of the Ministry of Food, Government of Bangladesh partnering with Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP).

The research is being jointly implemented by the Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge (MUCH) project with the financial support of the European Union (EU) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with other food security and nutrition (FSN) relevant ministries. In this event, interim results of seven food and nutrition security researches have been presented.The main objective of the project is to strengthen the enabling environment for the eradication of food insecurity and malnutrition in Bangladesh.

In the inaugural session, Additional  Secretary, Ministry of Food, Khaja Abdul Hannan was present as the Chief Guest, Hans Lambrect,  Delegation of the European Union;Robert D Simpson, FAO Representative; DrCherdsakVirapat, Director General, CIRDAP; were present as the special guests. The technical sessions were chaired by Naoki Minamiguchi, Chief Technical Adviser, MUCH, FAO. Besides, Professor Dr. Lutful Hassan, Vice Chancellor, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh; Dr Lalita Bhattacharjee, Senior Nutrition Advisor, FAO MUCH; Ms. Saiqia Shiraz, Country Director, Professor Sadika Haque from Bangladesh Agricultural University ,Nutrition International participated in the programme where more than 100 participants were presentfrom different national and international organizations including BAU, USAID, UNDP, IRRI, UNICEF, WorldFish were present there. Among the team members, more than 25 participants attended including Prof. Abu Torab Rahim from Dhaka University, Prof. Dr. Kamruzzaman, Dr. NahidSattar, Dr. Md. Nazmul Hoque Shapon, Din Mohammed Dinu from BAU.

It was also mentioned that still 30% of urban families are lacking improved sanitation. Dhaka is more burdened with all indicators of poverty, early marriage and malnutrition than the other regions of Bangladesh. In Gazipur, Tongi and Narsingdi, there is higher number of vulnerable to poor people livingand they can fall into poverty at any time if their socio-economic condition worsens for any reason. In the urban areas of Bangladesh, more than 50% girls got married before the age of 19. About 57% respondents receive anti natal care for 4 times as recommended by WHO.Affected by diarrhea was higher in the case of child living in mega city. Only 3% mothers’ have good knowledge on nutrition.The study found 36% stunted, 10% wasted, 14% underweight and 33% are overweight children in the urban regions. The absence of child day care center leads to increase the dependency on caregivers which in most cases, elderly grandmothers, which may also be stressful for them.

Due to rapid urbanization and technological development, more women are now getting involved in productive work which may affect child and maternal health than before. Though only 15% urban mothers have achieved empowerment score and it is higher for working mothers, but housewife mothers can take more care of their children, although they have less access to resources. A good option would be 4-5 working hours for mothers, flexible time arrangement etc.