The food security situation in the targeted area of Bangladesh was critical at the point of project inception in 2010. Despite real wage growth in the previous five years leading to program initiation, a high rate of households, 31.5 percent, were in poverty. High food commodity prices, rising since 2007, exacerbated an already poor food security situation. Food insecurity at a national level was extremely high as measured by the Household Food Security Access Scale – at the beginning of 2011; the reported value was 69, a value more than double what was reported nearly two years later at the end of 2013.
Since May 2010, ACDI-VOCA has been implementing the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-supported Title II Program for Strengthening Household Access to Resources (PROSHAR) project in three upazilas; Batighata, Lohagara and Sarankhola in Khulna Division of Bangladesh. The program is designed to “reduce food insecurity among vulnerable rural populations in selected upazilas in Khulna Division.” It has three strategic objectives (SOs) in the areas of income and access to food of poor and ultra-poor households (SO1), Health of pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and children under 5 (SO2), and disaster risk reduction (SO3), as well as a cross-cutting gender component.