A range of ambitious goals has been set by the world to shape a better future for its citizens, including bringing an end to poverty and hunger and achievement of good health and well-being. One of the major bottlenecks to realizing these goals is the staggering rate of malnutrition, in all its forms especially in adolescent girls. Adolescents, comprised of 10-19 years old, form the largest generation in our history. There are an estimated 1.8 billion adolescents in the world with 90% residing in middle and low-income countries.
Key factors to this situation, among others, are the poverty and food insecurity, insufficient access to basic social services such as health, education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), as well as insufficient dietary diversity and lack of nutrition knowledge among the populations. To address this overwhelming challenge of malnutrition in all its forms, action is urgently needed by adopting a lifecycle approach, including a focus on adolescents, who also need to be actively engaged in the fight against malnutrition.
The Nutrition Olympiad is an annual national event where youth have an opportunity to share their experiences to promote healthy diets and nutrition through innovative activities, express their concerns and challenges related to nutrition, and seek actionable solutions as well as build networks. Driven by the vision to engage youth and adolescents to spearhead the United Nation’s Zero Hunger Challenge initiative, the Nutrition Olympiad 2019 will be held on Saturday, 27th April 2019 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Agargaon, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, organized by the Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge (MUCH) project, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU), Ministry of Food, and the BIID Foundation during Nutrition Week 2019. The event will be financially supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Union (EU). Nutrition Olympiad 2019 will bring together youth and adolescents including of NC representatives, food security, nutrition and health experts, policymakers, development partners, private sector, international and national organizations, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) working on nutrition and media. This year’s Olympiad will encourage persons with disabilities and ensure inclusive participation in different activities.
BIID Foundation is an initiative of Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID). BIID, established as a private sector enterprise in 2008, is a distinct inclusive business initiative to support development and promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based services. BIID’s inclusive approach ensures serving the poor in a sustainable way through a market-led approach. The distinction of BIID lies in clear identification of ICT as a cross-cutting development tool and in creating opportunities through continuous knowledge management, innovation and development. It is BIID's vision to become the market leader in ICT for Development (ICT4D) sector providing services to both public (Government and NGOs) and private sector. Leading through Innovation is BIID’s strategic objective.
Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge (MUCH)
MUCH is a policy advisory project to strengthen the enabling environment for eradicating food insecurity and malnutrition in Bangladesh. Working together with the Ministry of Food, it has been implemented with technical support from FAO and with financial support from USAID and the EU. MUCH has placed strong emphasis on the engagement of youth in improving diets and nutrition for a heathier and sustainable Bangladesh.
The overall objective of the “Nutrition Olympiad 2019” is “To foster youth networks at national and regional levels to advocate for improvement of nutritional status for all and to find innovative ways to improve nutrition awareness and behavior especially among adolescents and youth.”
The Olympiad will also have the following specific objectives: