Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Civil society organizations from across South
Asia will gather in the capital, Dhaka this week to take part in a grant competition, the Development Marketplace (DM).

“….they will display some of the best and most innovative ideas on how to improve nutrition in the region,” a World Bank press statement said in Dhaka on Saturday. The World Bank will host the competition.

The competition titled ‘Family and Community Approaches to Improve
Infant and Young Child Nutrition’ is designed to showcase and fund such innovative approaches, focusing especially on children under two years of age and pregnant women.

The DM event will bring together 60 civil society organizations from
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka who will compete for 20 grants of up to US$40,000 each to implement their ideas, according to the statement.

This Development Marketplace was launched in February 2009 by reaching out to communities across South Asia seeking proposals for local, small-scale projects with the potential to be scaled up and replicated. In just over three months, almost 1,000 civil society organizations from across the region submitted proposals.

Many prominent organizations have partnered with the World Bank to support the South Asia Regional Development Marketplace, including UNICEF, World Food Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Gates Foundation, PepsiCo, the Micronutrient Initiative (MI), GTZ (Germany), and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

BBN/SS/SI/AD-02August09-3:31 am (BST)