Climate change affecting Bangladesh: FAO chiefStaff Correspondent
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization director general, Jose Graziano da Silva, said on Monday that climate change already created scarcity of water in the Bangladesh delta and saline intrusion into its rivers.
Speaking at a news conference at a city hotel winding up his two-day visit to Dhaka, he said that despite Bangladesh’s strong economic and agricultural growth there was no commensurate improvement in its food security.
It was Silva’s first visit to an Asian country since he took his new responsibility in January.
He said that with two out of the world’s three malnourished people living in Asia, it needed to produce more food.
The people need better access to food, which means they should be provided better employment, better earnings, safety net and cash transfer programmes so that the poor could afford to eat, said Silva.
Bangladesh, he said, was progressing in the right direction with improved rice and livestock production in spite of difficulties like salinity and frequent cyclones.
The FAO chief said that regional cooperation, especially south-south cooperation, could address hunger.
He said that such cooperation would enable Bangladesh and similar developing countries to benefit from the expertise of the developing or emerging economies.
The minister of food and disaster management, Abdur Razzaque said that Bangladesh achieved a lot of advancement in food security but it lagged behind in terms of nutrition with 36 per cent of its population still suffering from malnutrition.
He sought regional cooperation not only in production but also in marketing to ensure the region’s food security.
FAO representative in Bangladesh Dominique Burgeon was present.
Earlier, the FAO chief called on the food minister at his secretariat office.
Later, he inaugurated the Food Planning Monitoring Unit documentation centre, a library with 800 books and documents on food security and nutrition, at Khadya Bhaban.
Silva met prime minister Sheikh Hasina, finance minister AMA Muhith, agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury and foreign minister Dipu Moni.
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