Development Support Services to women under the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) Programme

Development Support Services to women under the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) Programme

The vulnerable group development (VGD) programme is the largest social safety net programme of the Government of Bangladesh aims to increasing the earning potential and social empowerment of the most disadvantaged rural women. During a 24 months cycle, wheat/rice is provided to give women a temporary break from the struggle to find food and to allow them to participate in training programs, and attend courses focused on market based income generating activities, provision of savings and credit, and functional education (health, nutrition, literacy, etc). These activities have been successful in improving food security of the households headed by widowed, divorced, separated/abandoned women and women with disabled husbands. It also helps to improve the nutritional status of malnourished women and children.

Currently about 750,000 women participants (about 3.75 million beneficiaries) from ultra-poor households receive a monthly food ration combined with a package of development services. The development package includes life skills and income generating skills training as well as a personal savings programme and access to micro-credit/NGO membership. There are two different forms of VGD: Income Generating Vulnerable Group Development (IGVGD) and Food Security Vulnerable Group Development (FSVGD). IGVGD participants are provided with a monthly food ration of 30 kilograms of wheat/rice or 25 kilograms of fortified flour (atta)

The major objectives of the program are:

1. Enable the poorest and the most disadvantaged women in rural Bangladesh to overcome food insecurity and low social status in a sustainable way.

2. Improve the nutritional status of malnourished women and children.

3. Facilitate the integration of VGD women into the mainstream development program by linking them to development programs of partner NGOs.

BLF shall aim to improve the socio economic status of VGD women and to socially empower them through training on awareness rising, provision of training on IGAs, provision of credit and other support services during and beyond the food assistance period in Feni District.

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