When it comes to development, the basics should come first
The shadow of hunger looms large over the history of Bangladesh.
In 1974, our country witnessed a historic famine, where countless people died of starvation and many more from post-famine causes, like disease.
Although famine on such a scale is now, hopefully, in our rearview, it cannot be denied that the battle against hunger continues.
The progress we have made in the past decade is nothing if not remarkable; Bangladesh currently ranks 88th out of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2019 as calculated by the International Food Policy Research Institute.
In the South Asia region, it is good to know that Bangladesh is performing better than India and Pakistan. However, we are still trailing behind Sri Lanka and Nepal -- a gap we should aim to close in the coming years.
It is hard to think of a worthier goal than to make sure our whole population is getting basic nutrition -- economic growth and massive infrastructural projects will mean nothing to those who are going to bed hungry.
Thankfully, eradicating hunger is a priority for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has, in the past, said no one would have to starve, and that rice would be made available to all at very low prices.
Great strides have been made in food productivity in recent times, and as technology leads to more efficient forms of agriculture and higher yields, there is reason to hope that soon there will be plenty of food for everyone.
When it comes to development, the basics should come first. That means, in order to one day call ourselves developed, first everyone should have enough to eat.