Govt working to rid rural women of poverty with WFP tech assistance

2 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

With an investment of US$72 million, Bangladesh government, with technical assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP), is set to reach 100,000 women with livelihood training, behaviour change education, as well as food assistance.

The participants of the Investment Component for Vulnerable Group Development (ICVGD) programme come from all 64 districts of the country, residing in remote areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and cyclones, said a WFP release here on Monday, reports BSS.

The participants 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,” Richard Ragan added.

Currently in its second phase, the programme consists of training in entrepreneurship, financial management and life skills, as well as behaviour change education in the areas of nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Each participant will receive a start-up grant of Taka 15,000 (US$180) and a monthly ration of 30 kg of fortified rice during their training period.

During the first phase of this programme, 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, said the WFP.

A positive change in their decision-making ability was also observed. Run by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, ICVGD is part of the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme, which is the largest safety net programme targeting extremely poor and vulnerable women and their households in Bangladesh.