© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

Bangladesh

Some 50 million people in Bangladesh live in poverty. A lot of them are small-scale farmers. The effects of climate change are an added threat to their well-being. With Helvetas' support, local communities secure their livelihoods and prepare for climate change. Furthermore, Helvetas is engaged in emergency response and supports the more than 800’000 refugees from Myanmar in Cox's Bazar.
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
  • Capital
    Dhaka
  • Area
    147,570 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    18% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
  • UN DEVELOPMENT INDEX*
    Rank: 139 out of 188
  • Population
    162,911,000
  • People supported per year
    205,317
  • Thematic focus
    Water
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies
    Environment and Climate Change
    Skills Development and Education
    Governance, Peace & Migration
    Advocacy
    Gender and Social Equity
* Source: UN Data

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. Two-thirds of the population live in rural areas. The country’s natural resources are scarce and, consequently, contested. Poverty in these areas drives many people to migrate to the cities or abroad – mostly to the Middle East – in search of work. To improve access to the market, Helvetas brings together smallholder farmers with market traders. They sell their vegetables, fish or milk on better terms and partner with food-processing companies.

Service providers for disadvantaged families

We support local service providers so they can train economically disadvantaged families to produce in line with market requirements. Landless women, for example, plant medicinal plants along small roads and sell them to traders. Furthermore, young women and men get vocational training so they can find work at countless family businesses, which in turn boosts local economic development.

Supporting communal authorities

Helvetas has been active in Bangladesh since 1997, where we advocate for the rural population to participate in the economy and local governance. One focus is on promoting women to take an active part in public and economic life. We encourage and enable them to run for local elections and to join women’s organizations to put their concerns across more effectively at regional and national level. The communal authorities are important partners as well. They introduce democratic decision-making processes, establish professional financial management and lawfully collect taxes to finance public services.

Coping with the risks of climate change

Climate change is only going to make Bangladesh’s challenges worse. Rising sea levels, recurrent flooding and the increasing salinity of the soil threaten the livelihood of small-holder farmers. To safeguard crop yields, they are increasingly using salt-tolerant varieties and adapting farming methods. We also alert people to climate risks by means of early warning systems and information campaigns. In addititon, extremely poor families are supplied with water storage facilities to guarantee their access to clean drinking water during the dry season.

Emergency response for Rohingya in Cox's Bazar

Since late 2017, Helvetas has worked with Rohingya who have fled violence in Myanmar and now live in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. To provide support for the more than 800’000 refugees is a huge challenge. Helvetas has distributed hygiene kits to particularly vulnerable refugee families and is constructing communal latrines and biogas kitchens. The project contributes to a better health situation as the use of latrines reduces open defecation and thus the risk of disease. And it decreases the firewood consumption and thus deforestation. Furthermore, together with ACTED/REACH Helvetas contributes to improved information mapping in the refugee camps and makeshift settlements.

Visit the website of Helvetas Bangladesh.

Our Projects in Bangladesh

 If you would like to know more about our work in Bangladesh, click on each project for details.

© Helvetas
Bangladesh Governance, Peace & Migration

Sound Local Policy for Real Change

© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Bangladesh Environment and Climate Change

Clean Drinking Water from the Skies Above

© Helvetas
Bangladesh Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Joining Forces to Get Better Prices

Bangladesh_CSO-LA_5 | © Julia Thienhaus / Helvetas
Bangladesh Governance, Peace & Migration

Strengthening Capacities of the Disadvantaged

Reports from Asia

© Patrick Rohr / Helvetas

Stateless – the Fate of the Rohingya

In the refugee camp in Bangladesh, Rabeya Begum and Mohamad try everything to enable their little son Mohamad Rizwan to live in dignity.

A Farmer’s Daughter Goes to College

Read how the Chakma family, with the support of Helvetas, has set up a tree nursery and thus freed themselves from poverty.

Protecting fish stocks in Myanmar

The people in the Gulf of Mottama live from fishing. Read how they try to regulate stocks with the help of Helvetas.

Where Tea Grows on Trees

In the mountainous hinterland of Laos, tea leaves are picked at high altitudes.

Water

The most vulnerable communities suffer from dirty and scarce water. Annually we help up to 500,000 people get new access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

Environment and Climate Change

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people adapt to climate change, reduce the risks of disasters, sustainably manage natural resources, and conserve nature.

Governance, Peace & Migration

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.
Contact

HELVETAS BANGLADESH
Gulshan-2
House 13/A NE (K), Road 83
1212 Dhaka
Bangladesh

Phone: +880 2 550 52 051-3
Fax: +880 2 550 52 054
E-Mail: infobd@helvetas.org