Malnutrition can reduce the working capacity of the ready-made garment (RMG) workers and productivity by 20 per cent. Hence, it is very important to implement the Plan of Action (2021, 2041), taken up by the government, and to ensure nutritious foods for the workers for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a press release.
Speakers said these while addressing a sensitisation meeting titled ‘Strengthening Workers’ Access to Pertinent Nutrition Opportunities (SWAPNO)’ at City Inn Hotel in Khulna on Tuesday.
Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment (DIFE) and Department of Labour in association with Switzerland-based organisation ‘Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)’ organised the event.
Speakers mentioned 2015 report of GAIN revealing that 43 per cent female workers at ready-made garments (RMG) sector are victims of malnutrition.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian attended the event as the chief guest, while Talukder Abdul Khaleque, mayor of Khulna City Corporation, as a special guest.
AKM Mizanur Rahman, director general, Department of Labour, Dhaka; Dr Md Mustafizur Rahman, joint inspector General (Health), DIFE; Dr Rudaba Khondker, country director, GAIN; Ismiel Hossain, divisional commissioner, Khulna; among others spoke.
Moniruzzaman Bipul, Portfolio Lead, GAIN, presented the keynote paper.
In her speech, Begum Monnujan Sufian said the government is committed to facing the challenge of malnutrition as it causes economic losses, hampering the national development.
The minister said it is urgent to give attention to the issue of implementation of Plan of Action (2021 and 2041) and ensuring nutritious foods for the workers for achieving SDGs.
She called for providing nutritious foods for workers at their work places along with raising awareness on nutrition for achieving the SDGs.
Besides, she called upon those who are engaged in production, processing, supplying and marketing of foods to consider the matter of nutrition.
The programme was informed that ensuring required nutrition among the workers can increase the national productivity by upto 20 per cent. Only anaemia caused by iron deficiency among the workers is responsible for reducing productivity worth US$ 5.0 billion in many South Asian countries.
Other speakers stressed on forming an alliance aimed at bringing sustainable and positive change relating to nutrition in the country.