Bangladesh's 45 pct people food-insecure: WFP

DHAKA, Oct 16, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Some 45 percent or 65.3 million of Bangladesh's 145 million population is now food-insecure, leading daily The Financial Express reported Thursday quoting a World Food Program (WFP) report.

The WFP report said the number of such people mounted after 7.5 million people were added recently largely because of the impact of higher food prices.

WFP Bangladesh Representative John Aylieff told the newspaper, 65 million people each consume less than 2,112 kilo calorie (kcal) per day, 6.9 million more people are severely food insecure who consume less than 1,800 kcal.

Quoting a recent WFP survey report he said during April-May, 74 percent of households reduced the size of their meals and 62 percent cut the number of meals per day and 15 percent of households skipped food for entire day.

Aylieff suggested that all food assistance to the vulnerable group of people should include food of those types that are fortified with micro-nutrients.

Food security of the country has been significantly and adversely affected by rising food prices in the international market.

The suffering of the people was compounded by widespread monsoon floods, followed by a severe cyclone resulting in the loss of an estimated 1.4 million tons of rice in 2007.