Hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to global health, killing more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. There are almost one billion chronically hungry people in the world, the majority of who are women.
How would it feel if you had to go to bed hungry every night? If your daughter or son, brother or sister would weigh so little, he or she would be weaker, thinner and smaller than other children the same age? If that desperate question of how to feed your family would determine your everyday thoughts? This is the reality of every seventh person in the world and the reality of every fourth child in developing countries. Because these people are underweight. Malnutrition has lasting effects: Children deprived of adequate nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life often have stunted growth, poor cognitive development and low immunity to disease. But malnutrition can be reduced when women are empowered. The causes of food insecurity are many: poor governance, climate change impacts, competition for resources, and gender inequalities. We and our partners work with communities to tackle food scarcity at its root. When children have enough to eat, they grow up healthy, are better in school, complete a higher education and have a better chance to earn a salary.
CARE Bangladesh implements one of the biggest food security program in the world - SHOUHARDO II. This project is assisting the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalized households to reduce chronic and transitory food insecurity through increasing and diversifying income opportunities and strengthening institutional linkages. It incorporates risk reduction and encompasses activities including agriculture, health, nutrition, disaster preparedness, climate change adaptation, governance and women's empowerment in 11 districts of Rangpur, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Dinajpur in the North Char; Sirajganj, Bogra and Pabna in the Mid Char; Mymensing, Jamalpur and Sunamganj in the Haor and Cox's Bazar in the Coastal region. SHOUHARDO II is funded by USAID, and the Government of Bangladesh.
FSUP-H is another project that was specifically aligned with CARE Bangladesh's vision by focusing on the economic empowerment of the most marginalized and poorest women and their dependants in the Haor region to alleviate food insecurity. The project dispersed small business grants to 55,000 ultra-poor women and is supporting these women to diversify their incomes by assisting them to access productive resources such as Khas land, private land and water bodies. FSUP-H's savings and loans groups are also providing these women with an opportunity to access funds during times of emergency as well as using savings to invest in individual and collective livelihoods. FSUP-H is helping to leverage fairness and opportunity for poor and marginalized people, in particular women by raising women's awareness around negative social norms including dowry, early marriage and GBV. FSUP-H is also engaging men in this process to encourage more equitable behavior at the household, community and institutional level.
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