The World Food Program (WFP) is working with the Bangladeshi government to lift rural women out of extreme poverty through a ground-breaking program. With an investment of 72 million U.S. dollars, the Bangladeshi government, with technical assistance from WFP, is set to reach 100,000 women with livelihood training, behavior change education, as well as food assistance, said the the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.
The participants of the Investment Component for Vulnerable Group Development (ICVGD) program come from all 64 districts of the country, residing in remote areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and cyclones. They face high poverty levels with low employment opportunities.
“WFP applauds the government for its commitment towards empowering women and achieving food security in Bangladesh,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Bangladesh. “Thanks to commitments like this, rural women will now have a chance to transform their lives and that of their children through skills and knowledge.”
Currently in its second phase, the program consists of training in entrepreneurship, financial management and life skills, as well as behavior change education in the areas of nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Each participant will receive a start-up grant of 15,000 taka (180 U.S. dollars) and a monthly ration of 30 kg of fortified rice during their training period. During the first phase of this program, which started in 2015, 8,000 rural women were provided with similar support. An evaluation of the first phase showed improvements in income, food security and dietary diversity of these women and their families.
WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.