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A report by Bangladesh government and World Food Program (WFP) has revealed one in eight, or more than 21 million people, cannot afford a nutritious diet.The Cabinet Division of Bangladesh government along with WFP released the findings from a comprehensive analysis of the availability and affordability of a healthy diet in a report, Fill the Nutrient Gapon Thursday.The report also revealed local food culture contributes to overconsumption of rice and nutrient poor foods, and the nutritional needs of adolescents and the elderly remain largely unaddressed. This situation is exacerbated for girls when adverse gender norms and practices such as early marriage and pregnancy comes into play.Bangladesh Planning Commission Member Secretary Mr Zakir Hossain Akanda said: “I would like to extend my gratitude for the policy recommendations that have come from the Fill the Nutrient Gap analysis.”This analysis gives us new insights on the food system, food environment, and also the affordability of nutritious diet for the poor people of Bangladesh.Over the past three decades, the government has made great strides in lifting 165 million people out of poverty. Investments in nutrition have proven especially fruitful, providing a ten-fold return and helping to accelerate economic growth and productivity, he added.Bangladesh WFP Deputy Country Director Alpha Bah said: “Bangladesh is a bright example of how government commitment and coordinated actions can have trans formative effects for the population.“One of the most effective ways of addressing poverty and food insecurity is to reach vulnerable families and communities through the country’s many social safety nets.” WFP’s technical expertise has helped the government to improve the reach and impact of some of the most nutrition-sensitive social safety nets, and as a result, the needs of millions of women and their children to healthy and nutritious diets have been met, he added.

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