Shah Outlines U.S. Food Security Partnership With Bangladesh

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah on Wednesday at the Food Security Investment Forum outlined U.S. plans for its food security partnership with Bangladesh as part of the Feed the Future initiative, the Daily Star reports. The goal of the two-day forum was “to help Bangladesh finalise a roadmap for future investments in food and agriculture,” the publication writes (5/27).

In a speech, Shah noted President Barack Obama’s $3.5 billion global food security initiative and the G8’s $20 billion commitment, according to a USAID transcript of the speech. He went on to describe Bangladesh’s nutrition challenges. “Despite Bangladesh’s large gains in agriculture, under-nutrition in children, adolescents and women remains a major concern. Too many Bangladeshis live below the food poverty line. Lack of dietary diversity in early childhood, poor infant feeding practices, and inadequate maternal nutrition contribute to a persistently high prevalence of stunting in children (>40%).”

Shah discussed the food security plan developed by the government of Bangladesh: “To assist Bangladesh in this process, the United States will enhance our agriculture and nutrition teams in country and will commit $15 million this year alone towards advancing the agricultural components in your plan. In addition, we will commit $4 million to nutrition interventions such as infant and young child feeding. This will supplement $200 million over five years to support our ongoing food assistance program,” he said. Shah touched on other themes of the Obama administration’s approach to food security and global health, including the role of women and country ownership of initiatives (5/26).

According to the New Nation, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh James Moriarty and USAID Mission Director Denise Rollins also attended the conference (5/27).

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