Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB

Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB

Food Security Project 2008 Report

The Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) has developed a wide range of programs for addressing development challenges.  Some are aimed at capacity building for leaders; some at economic development – particularly for women and youth; and some aim to strengthen democratic people’s organizations to enhance the abilities of minority communities to assert their rights and access resources.  CCDB is a partner of Global Ministries. 

The poverty reduction work of the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) was severely affected during 2008 due to a number of factors beyond anyone’s control.  Price hikes of foods and other essentials, including fuel, rocked the whole world and its tremors also were felt in Bangladesh.  This resulted in a sharp decline in the real income of the people.  Over four million people in Bangladesh may have been pushed back into poverty because of the food crisis.  The situation of the extreme poor has deteriorated further to a great extent. 

Food has become increasingly scarce for the extreme poor.  Price of food is increasing worldwide and the people of developing countries suffer most.  In this context, the food security component of the work of CCDB has become very significant in improving food security for the poor.  The CCDB Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Program (CPRP) interventions are contributing to achieving the goal of “Health for All.”  Significant improvement has already been noticed among malnourished children fed through nutrition centers.  To promote preventive measures, several workshops and training sessions were conducted during 2008 in reproductive health, safe motherhood, communicable diseases, etc. 

Effects of climate change are now more visible than before.  Floods and cyclones occur more frequently.  CCDB always has a stock of blankets, clothing, etc., to respond to any emergency situation.  Moreover, an effort has been made to activate local disaster management committees in emergency response, but it will take more time and need regular follow-up.

The Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Program (CPRP) is the major development intervention of CCDB of the current phase (July 2007-June 2011).  The program was launched on July 1, 2007 – a day which was observed by CCDB as Commitment Day.  On this day every year staff members both at the central and field offices renew their commitment and dedication to the cause of the poor and marginalized they work with.  Naturally the launching of the program was done with great enthusiasm. 

Livelihood and food security are the major areas of CPRP.  Through this program, people have been assisted to improve their household food security.  In addition, an effort has been made to enhance off-farm livelihood skills which produce goods that can be sold in the markets. 

Livestock and poultry rearing are two major sources of income for the rural households.  These also provide protein for household members.  During 2008 almost 700 people received training in livestock and poultry rearing.  These training courses greatly enhanced the people’s skills.  Trainees also were provided with livestock and poultry.  CCDB believes that the combination of training and animals will yield a better result.  The people have already started benefiting.  It will, however, require more time to get maximum benefits out of such interventions. 

Every year thousands of cows, goats, chickens, and pigs die due to various diseases.  This leads to excessive pressure on food security and livelihood.  It was observed that lack of proper vaccinations is one of the main reasons for such massive loss.  To prevent these losses, CCDB arranged short trainings to develop rural vaccinators who will be available at the doorsteps of the livestock owners.  This training not only benefited the livestock owners, it also benefited the vaccinators who earned an additional income.  During the year, a total of 50 vaccinators each received a ten-day training.  The local livestock officials highly praised this initiative and they led most of the training sessions, charging only a nominal honorarium.  CCDB also arranged 15 vaccination camps at 11 locations where around 5,430 cows, goats, and pigs were vaccinated with the help of newly trained vaccinators under the guidance of livestock officials.

The prices of different food items including vegetables are rising day by day.  The poor cannot afford most of the vegetables any longer.  Managing adequate food is a major concern of the poor.  They have to spend much of their hard earned money for purchasing food.  With an aim to increase household food security, CCDB started training in the cultivation of quick-growing vegetables as well as provided necessary seeds and saplings for starting cultivation.  Such support helps a family to have nutritional intake throughout the year and a surplus, at times, that can be sold for additional income.  The training covers areas such as the importance of homestead gardening, production techniques of vegetables, conservation of local variety seeds, compost making, etc.  In 2008 CCDB trained 1,543 people in homestead gardening.  To promote homestead gardening at the community level, CCDB provided vegetable seeds and saplings to 6,211 people including training participants.   

CCDB has been promoting eco-farming for many years through training and technological support.   Almost 500 farmers participated in the training program in eco-farming in 2008.  After training they are now convinced that eco-farming increases the soil nutrients and the yield as well.   

As a part of promotional work several billboards were erected in different public places.  These billboards convey the message that chemical fertilizers and insecticides are harmful while organic fertilizer prevents degradation of soil nutrients and increases the production.    

Because of limitations in institutional resources, it is not possible for CCDB to arrange livelihood training for all people who really need it.  To find a way out, CCDB has been exploring the possibilities of utilizing the services of some institutions that provide skill training at nominal cost.  A linkage has been established with different government departments to provide training. 

CCDB’s Comprehensive Poverty Reduction Program is an integrated approach to poverty reduction.   Year 2008 was a significant year marked with many trials, important lessons, and valuable experiences.  In spite of many challenges and shortcomings, the CPRP has been playing its role in the best possible manner.  The overall progress made by CPRP through the implementation of its different activities has been an inspiration for CCDB and a step towards realizing its mission to create a society where the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable people claim and enjoy human rights and justice for a sustainable livelihood with dignity.  

Click here for the project proposal:  Ethnic Community Development Program of the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh.