Social protection programs are primarily focused on influencing household behavior in the short term, increasing consumption to reduce poverty and food insecurity, and promoting investments in human capital. A large body of evidence across numerous settings shows that cash and food transfer programs are highly effective in doing so.

The importance of children’s nutritional status for subsequent human capital formation, the limited evidence of the effectiveness of social protection interventions on child nutrition, and the absence of knowledge on the intra-household impacts of cash and food transfers or how they are shaped by complementary programming motivate this paper.

A major independent report emphasises that the Government of Bangladesh and its partners must rally to end hunger and improve nutrition to sustain the country’s remarkable economic trajectory.

The sharp increase in food prices over the past couple of years has raised serious concerns about the food and nutrition situation of people around the world, especially the poor in developing countries; about inflation; and