The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is issuing this Request for Proposal (RFP) and will be the administrative lead organisation for this RFP.
Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of apparel in the world and the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector significantly contributed to the country’s social and economic development. The RMG sector has created opportunities for employment for an estimated 3.5 million workers, of whom 61% are women. Most of the RMG workers come from the poorest sections of the country and take shelter in the crowded peripheries and slum areas of Dhaka and other cities surrounding the garment factories. Due to their vulnerable socio-economic contexts and low educational status, their knowledge and understanding of health, nutrition and the effects of malnutrition is limited. Just under half of female garment workers are chronically malnourished, with rates of undernutrition 2-3 times that of the national average. Inadequate and poor-quality diets including hygiene practices, consumption of unsafe foods, and long working hours, all negatively affect workers’ health, and in turn their work performance. They also suffer higher rates of anaemia and other micronutrient deficiencies cause reduced physical work capacity. Considering the poor diets of RMG workers, the Project will work closely with factory management to improve access to nutritious and safe foods for workers.
This will be done in one of two ways: first, where factories already offer meals, GAIN will work to improve the existing meals at the workplace without exceeding existing cost. Second, where factory is not currently providing food to their workers, project will pilot on delivering nutritious food and commodities in a Fair Price Shop.
The Project will provide basic nutrition knowledge and updated information about the improved meal provision through various communication approaches and means for increasing awareness on the importance of consuming nutritious food. Improving and increasing nutrition knowledge and information among the workers will not only enable them to understand the motivation for the changes to their working lunch/snacks menu at the factory level, but also to choose or accept nutritious and safe food at home. It may also help them to improve the household’s food diversification.