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Aquaculture helping to improve health and nutrition in Bangladesh

Nobo Jibon ‐ Multi Year Assistance Program (MYAP)
Project leader
Md. Mokarrom Hossain
7 Dec 2010
31 Aug 2014

Mother and child education, Bangladesh
Bangladesh has made important human development gains in recent years, reflected by reductions in poverty, mortality of children under five, and chronic malnutrition. These gains have been achieved in spite of frequent natural disasters, volatile food/fuel prices, and the effects of climate change. However, the prevalence of underweight children in the country (41%) is still the highest in the world. Chronic poverty is evident, particularly in rural areas, where many families are unable to meet their food needs. Transitory food insecurity is serious in those coastal and riverside areas affected by natural disasters.

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Nobo Jibon Program

Save the Children is managing a five–year, USAID-funded food security program entitled ‘Nobo Jibon ‐ Multi Year Assistance Program (MYAP)’ in the coastal zone of the Barisal Division, one of Bangladesh’s most poverty stricken and disaster-prone areas. The program comprises three strategic objectives that are aligned with Bangladesh’s national health and food security policies and USAID’s priorities for Bangladesh. These objectives relate to mother and child health and nutrition; market-based food production and income generation; and disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness.
Since food security is highly dependant on fish in the Barisal Division, the expansion of adaptive small‐scale aquaculture is seen as an important means of providing employment opportunities for the poor, especially women; helping achieve food security, and reducing the incidence of malnutrition in children, which is highest in the country. The program aims to reduce food insecurity and livelihood vulnerability in 191,000 direct beneficiary households (targeting nearly 1 million people) in nine upazilas (sub-districts) in the Division.

Providing expertise across the aquaculture value chain

WorldFish work will help build capacity in the staff of Save the Children and the project’s implementing partner NGOs through training and the transfer of technology for the successful operation of small-scale homestead aquaculture farming to help improve mother and child health and nutrition.
Specifically, the activities of this project will enhance the market-based income and capacity of the poor by supporting the dissemination of five key technologies relating to carp aquaculture, cage aquaculture, prawn aquaculture, integrated aquaculture‐agriculture and aquaculture nurseries. Tilapia, pangas, shing and koi farming will also be introduced, based on the needs of the individual farmers and market demand. The project will also provide technical support to households involved in small-scale fish production, many of whom have only a small pond or ditch as their only significant asset.

By addressing market-based income generation, poor and extremely poor households will have increased purchasing power and improved access to food. The goal is to maximize the participation of, and benefit, to poorer households with pregnant and lactating women or children below the age of two. Cash- and land-poor households (with the focus mainly on women) will be helped to introduce or enhance basic homestead production of foodstuffs for consumption and sale.