Bangladesh – Program for Strengthening Household Access to Resources (PROSHAR)

Empowering Communities to Increase Food Security

Bangladesh has made great strides in the fight against poverty, but the country continues to face numerous obstacles. Nearly one-third of the population still lives below the poverty line, and over 41 percent of children under 5 suffer from stunting. After declining for two decades, the rate of acute malnutrition has recently shown a disturbing increase. Agricultural productive capacity is still low, and the country remains dependent on food imports, leaving it susceptible to volatile global food prices. Vulnerability to cyclones, floods, and other environmental devastation hamper long-term efforts to tackle some of these challenges.

 

ACDI/VOCA implements USAID’s Office of Food for Peace's five-year PL 480 Title II program to reduce food insecurity among vulnerable households in the Khulna Division of Bangladesh. This funding is supplemented by a contribution from the government of Bangladesh. Implemented in collaboration with Project Concern International (PCI), iDE, and three local NGOs, the Program for Strengthening Household Access to Resources (PROSHAR) is an integrated initiative that improves livelihoods, increases local knowledge of and access to quality basic health and nutrition services, and strengthens the capacity of institutions and households to respond effectively to shocks caused by rapid-onset natural and chronic disasters.

 

Objectives

  • Increase income and access to food for poor and ultrapoor households
  • Improve health of pregnant and lactating women and children under five (with particular attention to children under two)
  • Help institutions and households prepare to respond effectively to shocks

 

Activities and Approaches

  • Introduce new crop varieties, provide training in appropriate production technologies, strengthen market actors to increase services related to quality inputs, and provide technical advice on bulk selling and purchasing to increase the incomes of poor and ultrapoor households
  • Link producer groups with the private sector and build the capacity of private NGOs to promote market linkages
  • Promote alternative income-earning opportunities, such as bamboo products (fish traps, baskets), karchupi (embroidery), and nakshikhata (hand-embroidered blankets)
  • Train government health workers, family welfare assistants, and skilled birth attendants in the community to strengthen their capacity to meet the needs of mothers and children
  • Implement care group trios, targeting fathers and mothers-in-law to support childhood nutrition and hygiene and reach community members with behavior change communication (BCC) interventions
  • Mobilize communities to map their risks and resources, form community-based disaster management volunteer groups, conduct disaster preparedness trainings, and prepare risk-reduction action plans
 

Anticipated and Achieved Results

  • Conducted refresher training on first aid and search and rescue for 256 Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) volunteers in Sarankhola
  • 130 women leaders, who are also master trainers, purchased quality seeds from local sellers at 10 taka per packet and then resold these seeds at cost to 1,530 beneficiaries living in remote rural areas to improve rural women’s access to quality seeds and contribute to the economic and social empowerment of the women leaders

 

Funder: USAID Bangladesh

Budget: $45,000,000

Contact: Linnae Fath at lfath@acdivoca.org

Updated: 6/15