The Daily Star
Friday, October 29, 2010
BANGLADESH'S progress in poverty reduction and move towards food self-sufficiency has been noteworthy. But while numbers hint at a success story, a more nuanced look at the story behind the numbers may bring little comfort. Over 40% of the population still lives below the food-consumption based poverty line and the overall incidence of poverty remains high. Malnourished and highly vulnerable, they lack the income and assets to protect themselves against livelihood fluctuations, diseases, monga or natural disasters.
The consequences of the recent global food price hike have been severe in Bangladesh, as have been the effects of two cyclones. Food insecure households typically responded by decreasing diet diversity, consuming smaller food portions, reducing the number of daily meals, taking on unmanageable levels of debt and increasing household expenditure on food.