Bangladesh Government Activities- August, 2013


Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

The World Breastfeeding Week 2013

 “Stressed building mass awareness about exclusive breastfeeding, particularly feeding the newborn with the colostrums in the first hour of the birth, to reduce deaths at the neonatal stage” said Health Minister while inaugurating the World Breastfeeding organized by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry on 27 August at the ICDDR, B. The minister stated that the government in association with Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation (BBF) is moving ahead with a target of transforming all the hospitals in the country into baby-friendly hospitals. BBF chairman SK Roy said until now 63 hospitals have been converted to baby-friendly ones. Family Planning Directorate director general AKM Amir Hossain said the international code on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes must be totally implemented in the country to stop unethical promotion of the infant formulas. Supervised by Health Secretary MM Neazuddin, the program was also addressed by Prime Minister’s Health and Social Welfare advisor Syed Modasser Ali and State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Capt (retd) Mozibur Rahman Fakir.

Reference: UNBconnect


Breast Milk Substitute Baby Food Bill

20 August 2013' on Tuesday, Parliamentary standing committee of the health ministry finalised the bill on 'Breast milk substitute baby food, commercially prepared complementary food and the accessories for its use (marketing, distribution, etc) Act. The committee finalised the bill at its 40th meeting at the parliament building after necessary scrutiny and amendment. Committee chairman Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim presided over the meeting while members of the committee health minister AFM Ruhal Haque, state minister for health Capt (retd) Mojibur Rahman Fakir, Md Amanullah, ZIM Mostafa Ali and Amanur Rahman were present.The JS body formed a two-member sub-committee to submit an investigative report on the recruitment process in Rajshahi Medical College with Amanur Rahman Khan as the convener and Mostafa Ali as the member. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, said there were no provisions before to act against the suppliers in case these types of food caused children's death or harmed them.

Reference: The Financial Express



Ministry of Agriculture

High zinc rice

A decade-long research by Bangladesh scientists has culminated in the release of the world’s first zinc-enriched rice variety, capable of fighting diarrhoea and pneumonia-induced childhood deaths and stunting. The scientific feat comes with Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) breeders succeeding in biological fortification (biofortification) of the staple with one of the most vital micronutrients zinc. The National Seed Board (NSB) on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 has approved release of the hi-zinc rice — named Brri dhan-62 — which is also the most early-maturing variety ever released for Aman season. Besides, 10 other high yielding and submergence, salinity and disease tolerant varieties of rice, jute and potato were released on Tuesday at a meeting of the NSB headed by the agriculture secretary. BRRI Director General Dr Md Syedul Islam told this correspondent that the zinc-enriched rice variety also outpaced two of the country’s best performing Aman season early-mature varieties — Bina dhan-7 and Brri dhan-33. Zinc, iron and vitamin-A are the three most vital micronutrients, deficiency of which hampers children’s natural growth and decrease their disease prevention capacity. In Bangladesh, over 40 percent children under five are stunted while an estimated 44 percent children of the same age at risk of zinc deficiency.

Reference: The Daily Star


Published SAARC agricultural statistics Book

SAARC Agriculture Center has recently published an important book titled “Statistical Data Book for Agricultural Research and Development in SAARC Countries 2012” at BARC Complex, Farmgate, Dhaka. Accurate agricultural data is very much important for a sound agricultural development planning. The book contains up-to-date statistical information of SAARC countries on crop, livestock, fishery and forestry. The book will help agricultural researchers and development workers to have a clear picture of agricultural statistics. The SAARC Agriculture Center deserves appreciation for the effort for bringing out important and useful publications on various aspects of agriculture in SAARC countries.

Reference: The Daily Star



  Ministry of Food

Food safety regulation will be passed

The food safety regulation of the present government will be passed within the current period. The cabinet has approved the perception principle. Legal opinion has been sent to the Law Ministry. The law will be presented to the next meeting of the cabinet and the parliament will pass the next session. Food Minister was the chief guest of the sanitary inspectors Association of Bangladesh National Conference which held on 28 August at The National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) auditorium .The law implementing the food safety authorities will build a strong organization said food minister Dr Abdur Razzaque at the event.

Reference: New Age


Climate change and impacts on food security

Food Minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque said “climate change should be addressed properly for ensuring food security as the country is vulnerable to the severe risks of climate change consequences” on Tuesday, 27 August 2013.  The Food Minister was speaking as the chief guest at the program styled "Book Launching and Discussion on Food Security" organized by Syngenta and Forum for Information Dissemination on Agriculture (FIDA) at the National Press Club in the city. The book was a compilation of articles by 11 journalists of the country who work with agriculture, environment and climate change consequences, edited by journalist Kawser Rahman. FIDA vice president and journalist Reaz Ahmad coordinated the program while Vice Chancellor of Presidency University Prof Muhammad Mahboob Ali also spoke on the occasion. Dhaka University Correspondent report adds that US Ambassador in Bangladesh Dan W Mozena praised the efforts of Bangladeshi scientists for ensuring the country's food security.

Reference: The Financial Express


  Ministry of Finance

Separate funds for post-MDG agenda

Bangladesh officials pushed for the fund during a three-day “Asia workshop on global partnership for effective development cooperation: links to the post-2015 development agenda” at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka. After two years, the deadline to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals will end. “So, the LDCs have to focus on the post-MDG agenda,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith said at the concluding session of the workshop on 27 August 2013. Around $130 billion worth of aid is generated worldwide a year, of which the US alone provides $30 billion, said Md Abul Kalam Azad, secretary to the Economic Relations Division under the finance ministry. The workshop also stressed putting the ODA in a broader landscape for financing development priorities including MDGs and post-2015 development agenda. The ERD organized the event with support from the United Nations Development Program in Bangladesh. Government representatives from 26 countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Indonesia, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Mongolia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and East Timor, took part in the program. Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, and ERD Additional Secretary Arastoo Khan were also present.

Reference: The Daily Star