Govt imports food to meet possible crisis: PM

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the government deiced to procure food grains from abroad as a precautionary measure to face possible shortage amid speculations of severe flooding in the coming weeks.

“Flood waters by now devastated vast tracks land with standing crops which may take serious turn in the coming days . . . there is a possibility that deluge could grasp more areas in the coming days,” she said while addressing the first meeting of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) at her Tejgaon office here.

The premier added: “The government is was importing food grains to cope with any adverse situation.”

Sheikh Hasina laid emphasis on ensuring adequate nutrition for every people alongside ensuring their access to food saying “access to adequate nutrition is a basic right of the people”. The Prime Minister said Bangladesh constitution stipulated that one of the State’s primary duties was to raise people’s nutrition level and improve public health status while her government ensured food security for every people and “now it’s important to ensure their access to nutrition”.

The prime minister said it’s not certainly important for people to always eat fishes, meat, egg or other costly food for nutrition. Nutrition comes form balanced food which is (also) available in the low price food.

She said calling for carrying out an intensified nutrition awareness campaign particularly in rural areas.

The Prime Minister thanked officials concerned for activating the National Nutrition Council recalling that Bangabandhu had formed the Council in 1975 which didn’t work after his assassination and despite its reconstitution during here government’s previous 1996-2001 tenure it could not function during BNP-Jamaat regime.

Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Local Government Minister Khandkar Mosharraf Hossain, Food Minister Quamrul Islam, State Minister for Health Zahid Malek, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki, concerned secretaries and senior officials of the Prime Minister Office (PMO) were present.

The meeting discussed the second National Plan of Action for Nutrition (2016-2015) and approved it with some directives of the Prime Minister.

The action plan adopted five objectives aimed at improving the nutritional status of people and children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers in particular and ensuring availability of adequate, diversified and quality safe food and promote healthy feeding practices.

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