Key data for Bangladesh

NCI9th HRCI20th HANCI14th
HANCI compares 45 developing countries for their performance on 22 indicators of political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. All the countries compared in the index have high rates of hunger and undernutrition. The comparative approach of the index means that country scores are calculated in relation to the political commitment of the other countries in the index.
Existing rates of: Stunting: 38.7% Wasting: 18.1% Proportion of population underweight: 35.1% Source: UESD survey

Strong Performance

  • The government promotes complementary feeding practices and 94% of children aged 6–59 months received 2 high doses of vitamin A supplements within the last year.
  • A range of nutrition focused policies have been put in place in the last decade.
  • The National Nutrition Policy and Strategic Plan sets out time bound nutrition targets and has introduced an intersectoral coordinating body (National Nutrition Committee).
  • Bangladesh has instituted a separate budget line for nutrition, improving public oversight and accountability for spending.
  • Regular (once every three years) nutrition surveys enable policymakers to have access to up to date information. The most recent ones were the MICS (2012/13) and the DHS (2011).
  • The government has enshrined many, though not all provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into domestic law.

Areas for improvement

  • Women’s economic rights and agricultural property rights could be more effectively enforced to reduce their vulnerability to hunger. Various discriminatory practices continue to prevent women realising their legal rights to own farmland.
  • Institutional, legal and market frameworks for accessing land do not always help poor rural households gain secure land tenure.
  • Some efforts are made to improve poor farmers’ access to agricultural extension. However, effective coverage has not been achieved so far.
  • At present social protection systems are rudimentary covering few people and limited risks.
  • Only 54.6% of women aged 15-49 were attended once by skilled health workers during their pregnancy.
  • Only 54.7% of the population has access to sanitation.
  • Clear scope exists to improve the civil registration system; currently 30.5% of life births are covered. This potentially limits nearly 70% of children from access to basic services, including health and education, where this is dependent on proof of legal identity.
  • A right to food is enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh as part of the directive principles of state policy, and therefore not justiciable.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI)

Public Spending Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Government spending on agriculture ?8.9%20097th
Government spending on health ?7.7%201235th
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Security of access to land?Moderate201335th
Access to agri. extension services ?Moderate201332nd
Civil registration of live births ?30.5%201136th
Status of safety nets?Rudimentary201412th
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Constitutional right to food ?Weak201120th
Women’s access to agricultural land?In Law, not in Practice20144th
Women’s Economic rights ?Not Enforced20115th
Constitutional right to social security?Yes20061st

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Nutrition budget ?Yes20141st
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A coverage ?97%201314th
Governments promote complementary feeding?Yes20121st
Access to drinking water ?84.8%201216th
Access to sanitation?57%201213th
Skilled birth attendance ?52.5%201343rd
Extent of nutrition features in national dev. policies/strategies?Weak20143rd
National nutrition policy, plan or strategy?Yes20141st
Multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder coord. mechanism?Yes20141st
Time bound nutrition targets?Yes20141st
National nutrition survey ?Yes20141st
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law ?Aspects Enshrined201421st