SBN Bangladesh

Country Nutrition Situation

Improving nutrition is critical in Bangladesh.While the Global Nutrition Report states that the country is on-course to meet its targets for reducing child stunting, the rate remains high at 31% - a third higher than the average for the Asia region. Meanwhile, national rates of anaemia in women of reproductive age are at almost 40%, and 27.8% of infants have a low weight at birth. Whilesome progress towards reachingtargets for these has been made, more work needs to be done. Bangladesh, however, shows no progress for some of its other nutrition targets – such as for diabetes, which affects 20% of the adult population. And, although no progress has been made in reducing the rate of obesity and overweight in over-18s (7%), this prevalence is still one of the lowest in the world.


Mohammad Hemayet Hossain

SBN Bangladesh Coordinator SUN Business Network, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

Governance structure

SBN Bangladesh is overseen by the Ministry of Industries (MOLND), with a 29 member inter-ministerial/multi-stakeholder committee. This group advises on and finalises SBN Bangladesh’s strategy and work plan, and collaborates with the SUN Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSP) to achieve this.

There is also an operations committee, which is co-convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Food Programme (WFP), and supports the MOLND in its SBN activities.

In collaboration with the National Association of Small and Cottage Industries Bangladesh (NASCIB), SBN Bangladesh is also in the process of forming five sub-national members-only committees which will cover four districts.

What is SBN doing in SBN Bangladesh

The current strategy for SBN Bangladesh  covers the period from 2021-2023, and was drafted jointly  by all relevant stakeholders from different government ministries, civil society, United Nations (UN) Agencies, and private sector actors. It primarily focuses on four thematic areas – Food Safety and Hygiene, Food Fortification and Reformulation, Workforce Nutrition, and Market Development for Nutritious and Safe Food.

During this strategic  SBN Bangladesh will focus on three core objectives:

To improve consumer and business awareness on nutritious products

To create and enhanced an enabling environment

Build Nutrition Sensitive Business Ecosystems

To help achieve these, SBN Bangladesh has been engaging, and plans to undertake a variety of activities. The national chapter has also set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been set to ensure they are conducted properly. These activities include:

  • 1 Helping improve the capacity of businesses operating across the food system by offering members training opportunities around business development skills, investment readiness, nutrition, and food safety.
  • 2 Connecting SBN members with technical and financial assistance providers by holding investor meet-and-greet evenings. Mapping and convening key private sector actors, and conducting assessments to identify gaps in the chain and push further recruitment.
  • 3 Identifying businesses who are committed to developing innovative solutions to assist the sustainable production of food items, and provide them with assistance and training so they can continue doing so.
  • 4 Developing a co-ordinated strategy, partaking in collaborations, and holding workshops to identify required interventions in workforce nutrition and assess the value chain around ready-made garment (RMG) factories.
  • 5 Establishing national and sub-national committees of SBN Bangladesh members, so they can convene, advocate and share knowledge.
  •  6 Building the capacity of the regulatory authorities responsible for monitoring the food system.
  • 7 Creating materials (both static and video-based) to increase awareness around the importance of nutritious foods and encourage intake consumption.