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FOOD SECURITY C oncepts, Basic Facts, and Measurement Issues. June 26 to July 7, 2011 Dhaka, Bangladesh. Kazal 5f: Options for Raising Entitlements & Reducing Vulnerability in Bangladesh.

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Food security c oncepts basic facts and measurement issues

FOOD SECURITYConcepts, Basic Facts,and Measurement Issues

June 26 to July 7, 2011

Dhaka, Bangladesh


Kazal 5f options for raising entitlements reducing vulnerability in bangladesh

Kazal 5f:Options for Raising Entitlements & Reducing Vulnerability in Bangladesh

Learning: Trainees will learn about existing entitlements to social protection and available safety net programs in Bangladesh. Evaluating policy options in raising total entitlements and reducing vulnerability will be considered on the basis of a number of key planning and policy documents of Bangladesh.


Brief contents
Brief Contents

social protection framework and interventions

targeted social protection interventions

risk reduction, risk mitigation and risk coping measures

social protection and the PRSPs

social safety net programs in Bangladesh

policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty

key challenges and policy options for reducing vulnerability and poverty


Social protection and social safety nets
Social protection and Social Safety Nets

Social protection is defined by the World Bank as “public interventions to assist individuals, households, and communities better manage risk, and to provide support to the critically poor” (Holzmann and Jørgensen 2000:2).

“Social protection refers to the public actions taken in response to levels of vulnerability, risk and deprivation which are deemed socially unacceptable within a given polity or society” (Norton, Conway and Foster 2002:543).

This definition is fairly similar to the World Bank’s, which emphasizes the two elements of risk management (social insurance), and support to the chronically poor (social assistance):


Social protection and social safety nets1
Social protection and Social Safety Nets

Social safety nets aimed simply at “raising the consumption of the poor through publicly provided transfers”, but more recently the focus has shifted to “helping low-income households cope with income fluctuations as well” (Morduch and Sharma 2002:569).

The World Bank identifies “two compelling reasons for using public transfers to reduce risk: one is that the poor are often more susceptible to variations in income and less able to withstand shocks and the other is that some form of insurance may allow them to take on the greater risk that leads to higher long-term income” (Smith and Subbarao 2003:12).


Social protection and social safety nets2
Social protection and Social Safety Nets

  • Three key elements of social protection

  • Vulnerability

  • unacceptable levels of deprivation and

  • public action


Social protection framework and interventions
Social protection framework and interventions

A framework for social protection analysis and interventions


Targeted social protection interventions in bangladesh
Targeted social protection interventions in Bangladesh

Social protection interventions can be designed to address one or more of three broad objectives: risk reduction, risk mitigation, and risk coping

Social risk management matrix


Social protection and the prsps
Social protection and the PRSPs

A strong and expanded social safety net program (SSNP) is the main emphases of Vision 2021, which will protect the poor from all sorts of social, economic and natural shocks.

The social safety net includes all kinds of cash and kind transfers to the poor, all welfare activities, unemployment benefits for retrenched workers, subsidized health care, shelters for the homeless, and pension benefits, which prevent individuals from falling into poverty.

The major goals of SSNPs in PRSPs are:

(i) achieving the protection of all types of poor people and the prevention of chronic poverty as well as transient poverty. It will target the extreme poor first;

(ii) the government will encourage NGOs, CBOs and the private sector to augment their role and contributions to expand the social safety net; and

(iii) attempts will be made to increase coverage through increased budgetary allocation each year.


Social protection and the prsps1
Social protection and the PRSPs

Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework






Social safety net programs in bangladesh
Social safety net programs in Bangladesh

In addition to these ministries, the Bangladesh Bank and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) are also operating social safety net programs.

Bangladesh has a wide spectrum of social safety net programs. There are 30 specifically designed social safety net programs directly operated by the Government of Bangladesh. In addition to these, there are 15 funds to provide further assistance to improve the overall condition of the poor.

At least a number of 13 ministries are engaged in the planning and implementation of these projects. These include:


Social safety net programs in bangladesh budget 2010 11 2010 11 revised budget 2011 12
Social safety net programs in Bangladesh Budget 2010-11, 2010-11 (Revised) Budget 2011-12

(A.1) Cash Transfer (Allowances) Programmes & Other Activities:

(A.2) Cash Transfer (Special) Programme

(B) Food Security Programmes: Social Protection

(C.1) Micro-Credit Programmes: Social Empowerment

(C.2) Miscellaneous Funds: Social Empowerment

C.3) Miscellaneous Funds: Social Empowerment

(C.4) New Fund: Social Protection

(D) Development Sector Programmes: Social Empowerment

D.1 Running Development Programmes

D. 2 New Development Programmes


Major food social safety net programs in bangladesh
Major food social safety net programs in Bangladesh

Open Market Sales (OMS). Essentially a self-targeted food subsidy scheme in urban areas, when operational, it allows any person queuing up for a fixed amount o f food grain per day at a fixed price, which i s lower than the prevailing market price.

Test Relief (TR) Food. Test Relief i s administered by the Ministry o f Food and Disaster Management. It operates much like the Government’s Food for Work program. Participants are largely self-selecting, with wages and labor requirements set to discourage the non-poor from participating. Workers are paid approximately 3.5 kilograms o f rice or wheat for every day o f work.


Major social safety net programs in bangladesh
Major social safety net programs in Bangladesh

Gratuitous Relief (GR) for Food. Administered by Union Parishads (the lowest unit o f local Government) together with central Government officials based at the Upazila (sub-district), this scheme provides immediate food grants to households following disasters.

Food Assistance in CTG-Hill Tracts Area. This program operates in three districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts area. The program i s targeted to ultra poor women who get 3.5 kilograms o f rice or wheat on a daily basis for 30 days for doing public work.

Food for Works (FFW). FFW operates in rural areas. This fiscal year the program will provide employment at a cost of Taka 5.84 billion for food. The beneficiaries are generally women selected by Union Parishad who must be fit and willing to participate in the training provided and in the infrastructure projects in the area. The work includes planting trees, digging canals, building embankments, developing ponds, road building and road maintenance.


Major social safety net programs in bangladesh1
Major social safety net programs in Bangladesh

Vulnerable Group Development (VGD). This program assists about 750,000 women with a provision o f 30 kilogram of rice or wheat. These women are enrolled in two-year cycle. In collaboration with NGOs, it provides food for the poor as well as training for life-skills and for developing the skills needed to undertake income generation activities.

Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF). Until recently the largest safety net program in the country, VGF i s a means-tested program designed to provide food resources to a selected number of women in a period of distress. Usually, the women selected by the Chairman of the Union Parishad receive a card that entitles them to a given amount o f grain a month for a period o f two months. Each VGF card holder is entitled to 10 kilograms o f rice per month.


Major social safety net programs in bangladesh2
Major social safety net programs in Bangladesh

Vulnerable Group Development (VGD). This program assists about 750,000 women with a provision o f 30 kilogram of rice or wheat. These women are enrolled in two-year cycle. In collaboration with NGOs, it provides food for the poor as well as training for life-skills and for developing the skills needed to undertake income generation activities.

Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF). Until recently the largest safety net program in the country, VGF i s a means-tested program designed to provide food resources to a selected number of women in a period of distress. Usually, the women selected by the Chairman of the Union Parishad receive a card that entitles them to a given amount o f grain a month for a period o f two months. Each VGF card holder is entitled to 10 kilograms o f rice per month.










Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty
Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty

The Policy Framework

Poverty in Bangladesh needs to be addressed through different channels. The strategic elements of anti-poverty policies and institutions cover four broad avenues.

  • The first set of policies expands the scope for pro-poor economic growth for increasing income and employment of the poor.

  • The second fosters human development of the poor.

  • The third provides social safety net to the poor against various anticipated and unanticipated income (consumption) shocks.

  • The fourth set favorably influences participatory governance and enhances voice of the poor by strengthening women’s empowerment, by improving the performance of the existing anti-poverty institutions and by removing the institutional hurdles that stand in the way of social mobility of the poor.


Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty1
Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty

  • Increasing Pro-Poor Economic Growth

  • Macroeconomic Stability : The strategy of non-inflationary pro-poor economic growth requires a stable macroeconomic framework.

  • New Technology for Agricultural Growth : Agricultural growth may be encouraged through various policies, ranging from new technology to credit for small farmers.

  • Agricultural Diversification : Crop diversification with considerable potentials for employment generation has failed to take off in Bangladesh.

  • Credit Access : If the poor had access to credit, they could have financed educational expenses of their children as a way of climbing out of poverty.

  • Rural Non-Farm Activities and Urban-Rural Links : Rural non-farm activities have played an important role in generating new sources of employment for the poor, but the productivity growth in the sector has been modest.

  • Road, Power and Telecommunication

  • Technology Policy


Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty2
Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty

B. Increasing Human Development of the Poor

Human Development

First, considerable quantitative expansion of education, health and nutrition

Second, the introduction of National Nutrition Program (NNP) to address the malnutrition of children under two as well as pregnant and lactating mothers through the provision of food supplements, nutrition and health counseling is a positive step to address the problem

Third, incentives that are currently provided for enrollment of children from the poor households as well as for girl’s education need to be strengthened in the future.

Fourth, more emphasis needs to be given to vocational and technical education, including dissemination of improved agricultural practices.


Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty3
Policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty

C. Strengthening Social Safety Nets

First, providing access to credit to the poor in times of emergency to ease the burden of shocks, reduce distress sales and “negative” methods of coping.

Second, ensuring good public health services to reduce health hazard related income and consumption shocks.

Third, strengthening disaster preventing and mitigating mechanisms to enhance the coping capability of the poor in times of natural disasters.

D. Enhancing Participatory Governance

The first group of measures focuses on empowering the women.

The second group of measures relates to strengthening the system of good governance, especially decentralization at the local level.

A third group of measures are also needed for building grassroots level initiatives—outside the domain of local.

E. Policies and Institutions for Reducing Inequality


Key challenges and policy options for reducing vulnerability and poverty
Key challenges and policy options for reducing vulnerability and poverty

Incidence of Poverty in Bangladesh

BBS: Household Income and Expenditure Survey, various years

The overall incidence of poverty in the country has been declining though the rate of decline is slow at less than 2 per cent per year



Key challenges and policy options for reducing vulnerability and poverty1
Key challenges and policy options for reducing vulnerability and poverty

Direct efforts to reduce poverty cover several routes e.g. capability–raising of the poor by education, health and nutrition interventions; targeted employment, and safety nets programs; and improvements in non-material dimensions of well-being including gender gaps, insecurity, powerlessness and social exclusion.

In short, the approach sets three broad imperatives in the fight against poverty:

  • First, opportunities for employment and productivity growth are created so that incomes rise and the poor are able to move out of poverty;

  • Second, measures are put in place to ensure that access to basic services is equitable so that the poor can benefit; and

  • Third, special measures are taken to reduce the vulnerability of the poor to unforeseen events and shocks.


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