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First-ever UNICEF fundraising drive in Bangladesh

Published : 22 Mar 2023 10:18 PM

UNICEF is launching a large-scale campaign to raise funds for malnourished children in Bangladesh this Ramada.

This is for the first-time the UN children agency is taking this initiative inside Bangladesh, appealing to the “growing and increasingly affluent middle classes who are more and more able to donate towards helping children in their own country”.

With a strong economy, Bangladesh reached lower-middle-income country status in 2015 and aims to become an upper-middle-income country by 2031. At the same time, the country’s economic progress and success means that Bangladesh receives less foreign aid, UNICEF said in a statement.

“There is no greater cause than championing children’s health, education and rights. This Ramadan, UNICEF invites the people of Bangladesh to join hands with UNICEF to help the most vulnerable children in their own country,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.

 “The economic progress in Bangladesh has created enhanced opportunities for us to take care of the underprivileged section of our population, and to ensure that we leave no one behind,” Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen was quoted as saying in a statement.

 “The success of Bangladesh needs to be reflected through the children, who are our future and who also depend on us for their education, healthcare and well-being.”

 UNICEF – which is funded entirely through voluntary contributions – has been on the ground in Bangladesh for over 70 years, saving children’s lives and protecting children’s rights. Globally, UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization.

 The UNICEF Ramadan fundraising campaign is a first-ever invitation from UNICEF to people in Bangladesh to let their good deeds echo for malnourished children around the country together with UNICEF.

 The most common forms of malnutrition are stunting (low height for age) or wasting (low weight for height). Bangladesh has made impressive progress in addressing malnutrition. Stunting was reduced from 42 per cent in 2013 to 28 per cent in 2019. Yet, over five million Bangladeshi children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition.

 Stunting is caused by chronic or recurring undernutrition, and the damage done to a child’s body and brain by stunting cannot be reversed. It drags down performance at school and later at work, and puts a child at a higher risk of dying from infectious diseases.

 Wasting is an acute form of undernourishment which can be fatal. It is characterized by recent and severe weight loss which is often caused by lack of food and by disease.

 Children born to the poorest families are more likely to suffer from stunting and wasting. And when disasters such as floods strike, these already vulnerable children are at heightened risk.