Government of Bangladesh and WFP Working Together to Lift Rural Women Out of Extreme Poverty

Published July 1, 2019
Last Updated July 16, 2020

DHAKA– The World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the Government of Bangladesh to lift rural women out of extreme poverty through a ground-breaking program. With an investment of $72 million, the Government, with technical assistance from WFP, is set to reach 100,000 women with livelihood training, behavior change education and food assistance.

The participants of the Investment Component for Vulnerable Group Development (ICVGD) program come from all 64 districts of the country, residing in remote areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and cyclones. They face high poverty levels with low employment opportunities.

“WFP applauds the Government for its commitment towards empowering women and achieving food security in Bangladesh,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Bangladesh.

“Thanks to commitments like this, rural women will now have a chance to transform their lives and that of their children through skills and knowledge.”

Currently in its second phase, the program consists of training in entrepreneurship, financial management and life skills, as well as behavior change education in the areas of nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Each participant will receive a start-up grant of $180 and a monthly ration of 66 pounds of fortified rice during their training period.

During the first phase of this program, which started in 2015, 8,000 rural women were provided with similar support. An evaluation of the first phase showed improvements in income, food security and dietary diversity of these women and their families. A positive change in their decision-making ability was also observed.

Run by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, ICVGD is part of the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) program, which is the largest safety net program targeting extremely poor and vulnerable women and their households in Bangladesh.

The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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For more information please contact (email address:

  • Seetashma Thapa, WFP/Dhaka, Mob. +88 01713012386
  • Maherin Ahmed, WFP/Dhaka, Mob. +88 01755642160