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Cablegate: Bangladesh Embraces Usg Global Hunger and Food Security

VZCZCXRO0155
OO RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHKA #1040/01 3210919
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170919Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9664
INFO RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 0509
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8623
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 2945
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2186
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/US MISSION GENEVA 0721
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0193
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DHAKA 001040

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
AIDAC

ROME PLEASE PASS USG DEL TO WORLD FOOD SUMMIT
ROME ALSO FOR FAO AND USUN HSPANOS
DEPT FOR COUNSELOR CHERYL MILLS AND CINDY HUANG
DEPT FOR SCA A/S BLAKE AND SCA/INSB
DEPT ALSO FOR EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT TGROUT
STATE PASS USAID
USAID/W FOR FRANKLIN MOORE, DAA/AFR
USAID/W FOR MELLIS AND PSULLIVAN, OFFICE DIRECTOR,ANE/SAA
USAID/W FOR JOSETTE LEWIS, EGAT/AGRICULTURE
USAID/W FOR SUSAN BREMS, GH/AA
USAID/W DCHA/FFP MNIMS AND PNOVICK
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
BRUSSELS FOR USAID PBROWN
NEWYORK FOR USUN DMERCADO
SECDEF FOR SOLIC
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC FOR J3/J4/J5
NSC FOR PMARCHAM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAG: EAGR, EAID, SOCI, PINR, PREL, KWMN, BG, IT
SUBJECT: BANGLADESH EMBRACES USG GLOBAL HUNGER AND FOOD SECURITY
INITIATIVE

REF: STATE 107298

1. (U) This is an action request. See paragraphs 2 and 8.

SUMMARY
-------

2. (SBU) Bangladesh and Mission Dhaka are moving ahead with plans
to collaborate on food security, as laid out in the USG's new Global
Hunger and Food Security Initiative. The Ambassador and senior
officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
met with Government of Bangladesh (GOB) leaders the week of November
8 to brief them on USG food security plans. Bangladesh's
leadership, from the Prime Minister on down, welcomed the United
States' renewed commitment to food security. A delegation from
Bangladesh, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is in Rome for the
World Food Summit, and we request the USG delegation to seek a
meeting with the Bangladesh representatives to keep momentum going.

GEARING UP ON FOOD SECURITY
---------------------------

3. (U) In response to the USG's food security initiative and the
designation of Bangladesh as a focus country, Mission Dhaka has
ramped up efforts to develop its implementation plan and solicit GOB
support. The Ambassador, USAID Mission Director and USAID Director
of Agriculture, Dr. Josette Lewis, held a series of consultations on
the initiative with the Government of Bangladesh's Ministries of
Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Food and Disaster Management,
Environment and Forestry, Finance, and Health and Family Welfare
between November 8 and 12.

4. (SBU) GOB officials warmly welcomed USG engagement on this
issue, given that millions of Bangladeshis are food insecure. The
USG and GOB officials agreed that Bangladesh's national food action
and nutrition plans were natural starting points for collaboration.
The Minister of Health and Family Welfare enthusiastically welcomed
the integration of nutrition education across the various
ministries and suggested he and other ministers should write a
letter to the Prime Minister to endorse USAID's Hunger and Food
Security initiative.

5. (SBU) The Ambassador and visiting Ambassador-at-Large for Global
Women's Issues, Melanne Verveer, highlighted the food security
initiative in meetings November 5 and 11 with Bangladesh Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina. Hasina thanked USG leaders for their focus
on food security, noting the huge response from developing nations
to Secretary Clinton's meeting on food security held at the margins
of the United Nations General Assembly in September. The Prime
Minister said her government had plans to address food security and
malnutrition, particularly among women and children. The PM said
she looked forward to working with the United States on this
initiative and observed she would travel to Rome November 15 to
participate in the World Food Summit. The Ambassador also wrote to
the Prime Minister on the eve of her departure for Rome to emphasize
the importance of developing a coordinated country-led strategy.

6.(SBU) Dr. Lewis and members of the Mission Dhaka team also met
with donors, members of civil society and agricultural researchers
to describe the food security initiative and discussed ways to

DHAKA 00001040 002 OF 002


coordinate related programs to fill gaps and avoid overlapping
programs. The Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Agricultural
Research Council Dr. Wais Kabir underscored the need for
cross-country technology exchange in agricultural research.

COMMENT AND ACTION REQUEST
--------------------------

7. (SBU) Mission Dhaka will continue to engage the GOB in
developing a long-term strategy for achieving food security that
builds on the foundation laid by supplemental resources provided by
Congress at the end of FY2008 and beginning of FY2009. Mission
Dhaka's inter-agency food security task force is developing a plan
for FY2010 that will lay the foundation for a country-led,
Bangladeshi-owned food security strategy. Following Nov. 4-6
meetings in India with USAID, State and Agriculture officials from
Washington and the region, Mission Dhaka is putting the finishing
touches on its implementation plan for FY2010 funding.

8. (SBU) With its national action plans on food and nutrition,
Bangladesh is already ahead of the curve in terms of the global
priority placed on country-led food security planning outlined by
the United States and the G20 at L'Aquila in July. We need to keep
the momentum going. To that end, we recommend USG representatives
attending the World Food Summit meet with members of the Bangladesh
delegation to reinforce our commitment to partnering with Bangladesh
and to discuss ways in which Bangladesh and the United States can
move forward on this important initiative.

MORIARTY

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