An academic seminar on
Addressing Extreme Poverty Nutrition Security
PKSF hosted an academic seminar on
‘Addressing Extreme Poverty: Nutrition Security’
Monday, 29 April 2019
10:00 AM to 01:00 PM
The poor and extremely the poor people are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition. For them, poverty results in malnutrition and malnutrition causes poverty, said Dr Khaleda Islam, Professor, Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka. She was present as the keynote speaker in an academic seminar titled ‘Addressing Extreme Poverty: Nutrition Security’ held on April 29, 2019 at PKSF. Children and women are more vulnerable to nutrition security, she observed, adding that any development effort should target setting these people free from under-nutrition.
The keynote presenter also commented that poverty has been declined substantially in Bangladesh, but nutrition improvements have not kept the pace. She said, the government has taken different programme, plan and policy to address malnutrition. Dr Islam also focused on data that depict the recent nutrition situation in Bangladesh, as she said 36 per cent children under 5 years are stunted, 33 per cent are underweight, and 14 per cent are wasted. The prevalence of anemia among non-pregnant women and pregnant women are 40 per cent and 50 per cent respectively, she also suggested.
Prior to the keynote presentation, Mr A.Q.M. Golam Mawla, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF put forward the opening remark. Afterward the session was deliberated by Dr AKM Nuruzzaman, General Manager and Team Leader of UPP-Ujjibito, PKSF and Dr Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, General Manager, PKSF who gave two detailed point-wise presentations on the ‘Reflection from ENRICH, UJJIBITO and PRIME Project’ and ‘Expectation for M&E Framework of PPEPP Project’ respectively. Other talks include an open discussion session by the participants followed by a presentation on the challenges of nutrition security given by Dr Kazi Faisal Mahmud, Deputy Chief of Party and SBCC Advisor, Center for Communication Programs (CCP), John Hopkins University.
The PKSF has accomplished implementing UPP-Ujjibito component of the Food Security Project funded by the European Union (EU) in April, 2019. Under the project, up to 3.25 lakh ultra-poor people were provided with food, nutrition and health support. PKSF sought to incorporate the learning of projects like ENRICH, UJJIBITO and PRIME and the recommendations of the seminar that will contribute to develop the M&E framework of ‘Pathways to Prosperity for Extremely Poor People (PPEPP)’, a newly started project funded by the DFID and EU.
PPEPP nutrition component will focus on the delivery of essential services either by supporting the National Nutrition Services (NNS) or through direct intervention, as needed. It will also address the social practices that prevent good nutrition outcome and promote income generating activities that support positive nutrition consequences in the locations covered by the project.
Despite a number of development efforts, the disparity between the rich and poor is widening in Bangladesh. Poverty, among others, is the direct cause of malnutrition and that no nutritional improvement can be expected unless and until poverty is reduced. ‘To address malnutrition, we have to address all the root causes’, said Dr Ahmed Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury, former Vice-Chairperson, BRAC as the moderator of the seminar. He added ‘PKSF not only works to eradicate poverty but also addresses the determinant of poverty. And nutrition is a major determinant of poverty.’
Among others, M.A. Baqui Khalily, former Executive Director, Institute of Inclusive Finance and Development (InM); Dr Reazul Islam, independent consultant; Dr AFM Iqbal Kabir, Team Leader, Operationalization of NPAN2 Bangladesh National Nutrition Council, Tan-Supported by Nutrition International were present at the academic seminar arranged by PKSF.
Dr Ahmed Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury
PKSF not only works to eradicate poverty but also addresses the determinant of poverty. And nutrition is a major determinant of poverty. We’re passing through a global nutrition crisis. One in every three person, one way or another, is suffering from malnutrition. Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the UN once remarked, “Nutrition is both a maker and a marker of development.” To address malnutrition, we have to address all the root causes.