ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security
Posted 16 April 1998
Country Thematic Groups
Bangladesh: The LCG Sub-Group on Food Security and Nutrition
In Bangladesh, an extensive system of Local Consulting Groups (LCG) were
already operational in 1997. The decision was made, therefore, to include
the thematic group within the broader LCG system which already operates
with the support of the UN Resident Co-ordinator. In this context, the "LGC
Sub-group on Food Security and Nutrition", affiliated to the ACC Network,
has replaced the pre-existing "LCG Sub-group on Food Aid".
The mandate of the new group, co-chaired by WFP and FAO, has been broadened
to reflect its wider scope and focus on such issues as food availability,
accessibility and stability, malnutrition and rural development. The membership
has also been expanded.
As encouraged by the Network, the Sub-group in Bangladesh has successfully
mobilised the participation of Government organizations, bilateral donors
and civil society alongside UN Agencies. Representatives of civil society,
including national and international NGOs, play an important role in the
Sub-group, illustrating the potential of using the Network to promote alliances
and foster partnerships between the various actors which are working to
promote rural development and enhance food security at the national level.
The Sub-group, co-chaired by FAO and WFP, includes the participation of
the following organizations:
- UN agencies. FAO, WFP, UNICEF, WHO, UNDP, World Bank.
- Government organizations. Department of Agricultural Extension
in the Ministry of Agriculture; Food Production and Monitoring Unit, Directorate
of Food (Ministry of Food); Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief;
Ministry of Women's Affairs; External Relations Division (Ministry of Finance);
Ministry of Planning; Ministry of Local Government; Bureau of Statistics;
National Nutrition Council in the Ministry of Health.
- Bilateral donors. Australia, Belgium, Canada (CIDA), France, Netherlands,
USA (USAID), UK (DFID), E.U., Germany, Japan.
- Civil society. Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh
(ADAB), Helen Keller International, CARE Bangladesh, International Maize
and Wheat Improvement Centre.
The Sub-group aims to promote food security in Bangladesh and to reduce
endemic malnutrition, a major symptom of food insecurity in the country,
through enhancing co-ordinated efforts and collaboration among donors, Government organizations, aid
agencies and civil society organizations.
The Group has selected 3 main sub-themes for attention:
- food supply (national production, commercial imports, food aid, food
- food accessibility (ability to purchase required quantity and quality
of food with special reference to the purchasing power of the poor);
- nutrition (malnutrition, food-based nutrition approach, nutrition awareness,
Terms of reference
The Sub-group has discussed and adopted terms of reference to guide its
work. The specific terms of reference include:
- promote awareness and conduct a systematic review of the situation pertaining
to food needs, food production/supply, food security and nutrition, and
up-date data for the national and household level;
- enhance co-ordination and collaboration and develop common positions
on food security and nutrition among the Sub-group members;
- assist the Government in the promotion of inter-ministerial and Govt/NGO
co-ordination on food security policies, food and nutrition policies including
the National Plan of Action on Nutrition (NPAN), and implementation of various
programmes/projects concerning food security and nutrition;
- exchange ideas and views on innovative financial support, technical
innovations and food aid, where it has a particular advantage, aimed at
ensuring effective donor co-ordination and minimising the negative impact
- advocate for a sufficient level of resources from the GOB and donors
to pursue the attainment of food security in Bangladesh;
- discuss specific topics on food security and nutrition which meet the
common interest of the Sub-group members;
- organize a joint periodic meeting of the Sub-group with the LCG Sub-group
on Agriculture to discuss issues of common interest to both Sub-groups.
The work of the Bangladesh sub-Group will benefit from and be guided by
two very useful documents prepared during 1997. These include
- the Issues Paper entitled "Food Security for the Resource Poor
in Bangladesh" which was prepared by the former LCG Working Group on
Food Security for the Bangladesh Aid Group meeting in Dhaka on 4-5 November
- National Plan of Action on Nutrition (NPAN), which was prepared with the assistance of FAO and other sister UN agencies.