Food Security Network (KHANI), Bangladesh on Friday demanded the immediate enactment of the 'Right to Food Act' on the occasion of the World Food Day.
Attending events, organised by KHANI, speakers said in order to ensure safe and nutritious food for all the people of the country regardless of their livelihood and culture, it is necessary to enact the 'Right to Food Legislation' right now based on the voluntary guidelines of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
According to a press release, KHANI Bangladesh, a national network comprising a group of non-government organisations and activists working on the issue of food security, arranged various programmes across the country, demanding the right to food and nutrition for all.
Under the "Month of Action on Right to Food" campaign, KHANI organised a number of events, including human chain, cycle rally, public hearing, exhibitions, and mime shows to create public awareness on the right to food issues in at least 21 districts in the country, added the press release.
Speakers of these events said the constitution of the Bangladesh identified food as a basic necessity of life, yet Bangladesh has ranked 75th out of 107 countries in the World Food Security Index 2019.
"On the other hand, according to researchers, about 98.3% of the country's poor people and their livelihood have been severely hampered, and 87% of poor people have suffered a food crisis during the lockdown for Covid-19 pandemic," they added.
Besides, Bangladesh statistics showed that the income of the country's households has decreased by 20.24%.
They also said women and children in the country are mostly backward in the case of nutrition rights considering gender. Some 60% of women in Bangladesh are suffering from different forms of malnutrition.
The speakers noted that in 1997, 80% of the country's children were stunted which decreased by 31% in 2018. Despite that, the birth rate of stunted children is still high in Bangladesh in comparison to the global context.
"The main reason is we have failed to ensure nutritious food for the mother. So, the Right to food legislation has to be enacted to ensure food and nutrition for all human beings," they said.