Last updated: 25/3/2020

Basic Information

Country
Geographic area
Population group
Persons with disabilities, Women, Working age group

Programme Details

Programme objectives

The objectives of the Public Food Distribution System (PFDS) is to supply food grains to food-based social assistance programmes; provide price incentive to farmers to encourage production; maintain a buffer food stock in case of emergencies; and stabilise market prices in the face of price volatility

Programme components
Bangladesh has a well-established PFDS system, the origin of which dates back to colonial times when a food distribution system was developed to address the 1943 Bengal famine (Banerjee et al. 2014). Until 2014 the PFDS used to operate through nine distribution channels, of which the following four are monetised channels: Open Market Sales (OMS), Essential Priorities (EP), Other Priorities (OP) and Large Employers (LE). The following five channels are non-monetised: Food For Work (PFDS-FfW), Vulnerable Group Development (VGD), Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF), Test Relief (TR) and Gratuitous Relief (GR) (Rahman and Khaled 2012). From 2014 onwards, however, a Work For Money (WfM) component was gradually integrated into the FfW. This initiative was initially impeded by a lack of funds, but from 2017 onwards it started gaining more traction, and it is planned that the WfM component will gradually replace the Food for Money (FfM).
Coverage
The following coverage is expected for each component under the 2018-19 budget : - Open Market Sales (OMS) – 12,164,000 individuals - Food for Work (FfW) – 1,101,000 individuals - Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) – 14,247,000 individuals - Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) – 6,472,000 individuals - Test Relief (TR) – 1,906,000 individuals - Gratuitous Relief (GR) – 5,682,000 individuals - Food Assistance for the Chittagong Hill Tracts Region – 776,000 individuals World Bank Figures FY 2015-16: - Open Market Sales (OMS) – 21,000,000 individuals - Food for Work (FfW) – 550,000 individuals - Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) – 9,100,000 individuals - Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) – 6,500,000 individuals - Test Relief (TR) – 780,000 individuals
Programme expenditure
In the 2017-18 fiscal year the budget for each component was the following (in BDT crore; 1 crore = 10 million): Open Market Sales (OMS) – 785.25 Food for Work (FfW) – 792.51 Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) – 1605.70 Vulnerable Group Fund (VGF) – 1348.88 Test Relief (TR) – 1300.00 Gratuitous Relief (GR) – 526.91 Food Assistance for the Chittagong Hill Tracts Region – 294.46 Total budget value for FY 2017-18: BDT6,359.25 crore The following expenditure has been established for each component under the 2018-19 budget (in BDT crore; 1 crore = 10 million): Open Market Sales (OMS) - 832 Food for Work (FfW) - 987.58 Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) – 1,685.07 Vulnerable Group Fund (VGF) – 1,730.81 Test Relief (TR) – 1,390 Gratuitous Relief (GR) – 540.88 Food Assistance for the Chittagong Hill Tracts Region – 282.82 Total budget value for FY 2018-19: BDT8,169.16 crore
References
[6] Ministry of Finance. Social Safety Net Programmes – Budget 2017-18, 2017-18 (Revised) & Budget 2018 [21] Arruda, P.; Markhof, Y.; Franciscon, I.; Silva, W. and Bilo, C. 2020. Overview of non-contributory social protection programmes in South Asia from a child and equity perspective. Research Report No. 46. International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. <https://socialprotection.org/discover/publications/overview-non-contributory-social-protection-programmes-south-asia-child-and>. Accessed 22 February 2021.

Targeting and eligiblity

Targeting methods
Categorical Targeting
Geographical Targeting
Community-Based Targeting
Self-Targeting

Coverage and other information

Type of benefits
Food and other cash and in-kind assistance
References
[21] Arruda, P.; Markhof, Y.; Franciscon, I.; Silva, W. and Bilo, C. 2020. Overview of non-contributory social protection programmes in South Asia from a child and equity perspective. Research Report No. 46. International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. <https://socialprotection.org/discover/publications/overview-non-contributory-social-protection-programmes-south-asia-child-and>. Accessed 22 February 2021.
Amount of benefits
Open Market Sales (OMS) – Rates of BDT 30 (USD0.36) per kilogram of rice and BDT 17 (USD0.2) per kilogram of wheat flour for low-income families (around 5 kg of rice per day per family was set to be distributed until the Boro harvest in April 2018). Food for Work (FfW) and Test Relief (TR) – 8 kg of rice per work day. Work for Money (WfM) – 8 kg of rice/wheat or money equivalent to 7 hours of work Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) – 30 kg of rice per month per household and social support services (including life skills and income-generating skills training, savings and access to credit) for a cycle of twenty-four months. Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) - 10-30 kg of rice/wheat per month. Gratuitous Relief (GR) – The average amount of rice given out by the Gratuitous Relief program is 15.7 kilograms per beneficiary. This programme also offers other cash or in-kind transfers (e.g. blankets) to meet the needs of disaster-affected people. Food Assistance for the Chittagong Hill Tracts Region – 3.5 kg per day per person (data from 2009).
References
[7] Personal communication. [8] SPFMSP Project. 2017a. A Diagnostic Study on Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) Programme of Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs. <https://bit.ly/2yKZm0J>. Accessed 06 August 2018. [9] USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. 2018. “Bangladesh Grain and Feed Annual 2017.” GAIN Report No. BG7004. Dhaka: USDA. <https://bit.ly/2PbfZgc>. Accessed 06 August 2018. [10] Cho, Yoonyoung, and Ummul Ruthbah. 2018. “Does Workfare Work Well? The Case of the Employment Generation Program for the Poorest in Bangladesh.” Policy Research Working Paper No. 8395. <https://bit.ly/2Eqm8vy>. Accessed 23 July 2018. [11] Towfiqul Islam, Quazi 2012. People’s Republic of Bangladesh: Updating and Improving the Social Protection Index (Cofinanced by the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund). Asian Development Bank. <https://bit.ly/2CQaZrL>. Accessed 11 May 2018. [12] SPFMSP Project. 2017b. Diagnostic Study on Vulnerable Group Feeding Scheme of Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. <https://bit.ly/2NO0SEO>. Accessed 06 August 2018. [13] Rama, Martin; Tara Béteille, Yue Li, Pradeep K. Mitra, and John Lincoln Newman. 2015. Addressing Inequality in South Asia. South Asia Development Forum. Washington, D.C.: World Bank. <https://bit.ly/1o2QLyq>. Accessed 06 August 2018. [14] World Bank. 2013a. “Project Information Document (PID) – Appraisal Stage.” Report No. PIDA946. <https://bit.ly/2PemYFv>. Accessed 06 August 2018. [15] Government of Bangladesh. 2009. National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction II (Revised) FY 2009-2011. <https://bit.ly/2CohYXT>. Accessed 06 August 2018. [19] Personal communication.
Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and frequency
Legal Framework
Most recent policies, which constitute the current base of the PFDS, are: the National Food Policy, 2006; the Country Investment Programme, 2011
References
[1] Banerjee et al. 2014. Historical Divergence in Public Management of Food Grain Systems in India and Bangladesh: Opportunities to Enhance Food Security. <https://bit.ly/2pYDgnr>. Accessed 16 July 2018. [19] Personal communication.