Country's one-third children's physical growth is being hampered due to malnutrition, shows an international research, saying global Covid-19 infection intensifies it [ the problem] by rising poverty.
"The Covid-19 has affected the income of country's 95 percent families and the reduction of earning has created a threat TO the nutrition intake of the growing children, said FAO advisor Professor Mizanul Haq Kazal in his keynote paper quoting the research findings while attending at the webinar organized by Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB) in the capital on Monday.
51 percent family's incomes have reduced to near zero percent, Haq said based on the research conducted by the largest non-government organization BRAC with the technical support from the FAO.
While 3 percent families have no food, 16 percent families have a stock of 1-3 days food and 22 percent have a food bulk for 30 days or more.
Under the situation, the research findings, however, suggested for intensified social protection programme by the government to tackle the situation.
Chaired by PIB Director General Zafar Wazed, the webinar also was addressed, among others, by FAO's Meeting the Under Nutrition Challenge Project's Chief Technical Advisor Naoki Minamiguchi and Director (Research) of Food Planning and Monitoring Unit of the Food Ministry Feroz Al Mahmud.
"There is lack of awareness among the common people on selecting the balanced food, said the PIB DG, adding that although the rate of malnutrition population is declining over the economic development of the country, but the number of malnutrition children in the country is still higher."
Terming the social protection as one of the pillar of 2nd country investment plan on nutrition sensitive food system, Naoki Minamiguchi said food adequacy, its availability and proper utilization of food are necessary for maintaining food security.
National Nutrition Expert Wazia Khatun, Dhaka Tribune Executive Editor Reaz Ahmed, Daily Prothom Alo Special Correspondent Shishir Morol, Agriculture Reporter's Forum President Ashraf Ali, Kaler Kantha Deputy Chief Reporter Towfiq Maruf, Dainik Janakantha City Editor Kauser Rahman and STV special correspondent Salauddin Ahmad Bablu, among others, attended the webinar.
PIB Senior Trainer Mohammad Abdul Mannan moderated the function.