Food for All

Southasia - - Briefing - NEPAL

In its lat­est bid to re­solve the on-go­ing food cri­sis in the coun­try, the Bangladeshi gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a U.S. $8 bil­lion plan to en­sure food se­cu­rity over the next five years.

Muham­mad Abdur Raz­zaque, Min­is­ter for Food and Disas­ter Man­age­ment, in­formed the me­dia that the gov­ern­ment has fi­nal­ized the in­vest­ment for food se­cu­rity in the coun­try un­til 2015 and had full sup­port from its de­vel­op­ment part­ners to im­ple­ment it.

The Min­is­ter ex­pected fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance worth $5 bil­lion from the donor agen­cies whereas the rest of the money “will be ar­ranged” from the gov­ern­ment’s funds. Raz­zaque said pub­lic sec­tor in­vest­ment in agri­cul­ture has de­clined and this trend must be re­versed to en­sure food for all. He also hoped the plan will en­sure em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the masses.

Bangladesh, like other Asian and African na­tions, has moved to build stocks of sta­ples such as rice and wheat in or­der to com­bat surg­ing food costs and avoid fu­ture sup­ply shocks. Nearly 40 per­cent of Bangladesh’s more than 150 mil­lion peo­ple live in poverty, sur­viv­ing on less than $1 a day.

The gov­ern­ment is im­port­ing 3 mil­lion tons of food grain, in­clud­ing 1.2 mil­lion tons of rice, this fis­cal year, up from nearly 550,000 tons in the pre­vi­ous year to se­cure sup­plies amid soar­ing prices in global mar­kets.

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