About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 156 million people live in Bangladesh
31.5% of the population lives below the poverty line; 21% live in severe poverty
58% of adults are illiterate
(Sources: U.N. and World Bank)
Bangladesh has made impressive strides in improving human-development indicators and reducing extreme poverty in the past decade, but a great deal of work remains to be done.
Nearly 1/3 of the population lives below the poverty line, and one in five people lives in extreme poverty.
A significant percentage of the population relies on agriculture for income, but tropical storms and coastal flooding hinder many Bangladeshis’ abilities to make a secure living from farming, exacerbating poverty and insecurity.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
In 1991, Islamic ReliefTM provided vital emergency assistance to the people of Bangladesh in response to a tropical cyclone. Islamic Relief has worked in to help residents there ever since.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in Bangladesh:
ALTERNATIVE ORPHAN FAMILY SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM THROUGH SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS
Some 700 orphans and their households stand to benefit from a program dedicated to facilitating economic security and increasing awareness of social rights and protection. It will include health and medical assistance; child protection training; development of individual household business plans and provisions for skills training; facilitating the return to formal schooling or vocational training depending on age; and more.
RESILIENCE THROUGH WATERSHED MANAGEMENT, RISK REDUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
This is intended to decrease communities’ vulnerability to natural disasters through activities including construction of a new sewage treatment and water recycling facility, and stockpiling emergency response materials.
STRANDED IN BANGLADESH ACTION PROJECT
Nearly 13,000 individuals stand to benefit from a project that provides long-term assistance to improve the standard of living of the Urdu-speaking minority population living in five camps in Bangladesh. The program will provide access to safe water and sanitation units, as well as training on maintenance; shelter renovations for ultra-poor households; skills training and income generation efforts; community empowerment initiatives, and more.
ORPHAN SUPPORT & SPONSORSHIP
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
COMMUNITY-BASED SAFE WATER SUPPLY, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE
This project has helped save lives and decrease the incidence of water-related illnesses and harmful effects of unhygienic sanitation. The effort assisted more than 13,700 people.
ENHANCING RESILIENCE OF CLIMATE-AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
The goal of this program was to help improve quality of life, and to help reduce poverty and inequality throughout the Southwest by providing the means for communities to be resilient in the face of natural disaster. The construction of shelters; carbon storage and emission reduction activities; promotion of climate adaptive livelihood options; a variety of training sessions, including on First Aid and Rescue; social mobilization efforts; enhanced early-warning systems; advocacy campaigns and more were part of this initiative. More than 28,000 were helped.
In 2007, Islamic Relief provided emergency aid, including food packages, medical assistance, and rehabilitation services to survivors of Cyclone Sidr, considered the deadliest storm to hit Bangladesh in more than a decade.
WINTER ASSISTANCE FOR COLD-WAVE SURVIVORS
Some 2,200 families—approximately 11,000 individuals—received items in 2013 to protect them from the harsh cold, such as shawls and blankets. The project focused on communities in northern Bangladesh, where temperatures were among the lowest in the country in the last 45 years.