Chronic Food Insecurity Situation Overview in Bangladesh

Originally published


Key highlights

  • Out of the 18 districts analyzed, Kurigram in the north is in the most severe situation and classified in Level 4 of Chronic Food Insecurity (CFI). 13 districts were moderately affected (Level 3); 4 districts were classified in mild CFI (Level 2).

  • Of the total population, 10% was in level 4, 18% in Level 3 and 31% in Level 2. The share of population in Level 3 & 4 was higher in northern districts than in coastal districts.

  • Food access and utilization, especially poverty, poor health, sanitation and caring practices are major limiting factors in the districts with higher levels of Chronic Food Insecurity.

Summary of Classification Conclusions

The major driving factors for level 3 & 4 classifications were poor food consumption especially in terms of quality of diet of women, high poverty rate and high chronic malnutrition in children. On average, 39 percent of children under-five years suffered from chronic malnutrition in level 3 & 4 areas. For Kurigram in particular additional factors like inadequate physical and financial access, stressed livelihood and recurrent flood and river bank erosion contributed towards Level 4. Around 40 percent of households did not have access to improved sources of sanitation. Majority of the districts in Level 3 & 4 also have high poverty rate of 35% and above and most of these poor are marginal farmers, agriculture wage labourers and marginal fishermen.

Summary of Underlying and Limiting Factors

In the one and only L4 and seven L3 districts food access and utilization both were major causes of concern, in the level 4 district food availability and stability also concurred to make the food security situation more severe. In the six other L 3 district the major limiting factor was either utilization or access. While major access issues were poverty and constrained employment, major utilization issues were limited access to improved sanitation and electricity which are likely to adversely effect health, hygiene, food storage and food preparation. Of the underlying causes human capitals such as low literacy rate, lack of skilled manpower, and financial capitals like higher dependency on livelihoods with low financial return were driving the L 3 and 4. The low value livelihoods and high poverty rates constrain the purchasing capacity of the households in higher levels of chronic food insecurity. Physical capitals such as access to electricity, roads and markets are major underlying factors in nine districts.