The South Asian Network on Economic Modelling has recommended that steps should be taken for quick distribution of essential foods among the poor and vulnerable people at the local level with the support of local administration and non-government organisations to ensure food safety for the poor during the coronavirus pandemic.
SANEM executive director Selim Raihan in a statement said that during the ongoing crisis, one of the major challenges was ensuring food security for the huge population of poor and vulnerable people.
He emphasised the urgency of creating new lists so that the excluded poor and vulnerable quarters of the population were included in the distribution programmes of essential food items.
‘Depending on the government’s list of the poor people under the existing social security programmes, the quick distribution of essential food items at the local level during the crisis is extremely important,’ he said.
At the local level, the administration, people representatives, volunteers and NGOs (such as BRAC, Grameen Bank) can work together to create and update lists, distribute food, and prevent irregularities throughout the process, he said.
‘Capable people in the private sector and private sector business associations (such as the BGMEA, FBCCI, MCCI, DCCI) need to come forward to ensure food security for their workers and staff,’ he said.
According to the official poverty line income, 20.5 per cent population of Bangladesh is poor which is 3.40 crore while the percentage rate of poverty and vulnerability together becomes more than double of the poverty rate, close to 7 crore, he said.
The challenges of food security in rural and urban areas can be different, he said.
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