Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The country’s first comprehensive National Food Policy Plan of Action was launched on Thursday with donor funds for ensuring food security for the poor who go hungry.

Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzak and U.S. Ambassador James F. Moriarty launched the National Food Policy Plan of Action at a function in the capital, Dhaka on Thursday.

This important initiative aims to ensure food security by 2015 for the nearly 40 percent of the population who currently lack it, a U.S. embassy press statement said.

The Plan of Action contains detailed objectives to improve food availability, access to food, and nutrition. It also identifies each ministry’s responsibilities and recommends standards for measuring success.

Developed under the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Program (NFPCSP), the U.S. government, through USAID, and the European Union have provided US$7 million to fund the Plan of Action.

It will be implemented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Bangladesh government.

“This program enhances the government’s capacity to oversee a comprehensive, equitable, gender-sensitive, and poverty-targeted National Food Policy,” the statement added.

Seven Bangladeshi universities, along with American and European researchers, will participate in the program and provide important research and policy recommendations.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-28May09-6:12pm (BST)