Bangladesh

Located in South Asia on the Ganges River delta, Bangladesh borders the Bay of Bengal, as well as India and Myanmar. Nearly 155 million people live in Bangladesh, making it one of the world’s most densely populated countries.

  • Population: 154,695,400
  • Life Expectancy: 70 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 83%
  • School Enrollment: 96%
  • Land Mass: 55,597 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 58%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 41/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 840

Facts about Bangladesh

Food & Agriculture

Bangladesh has a history of devastating cyclones and floods, which have damaged crop production and increased food insecurity. The World Food Program estimates that more than 40 percent of children under 5 suffer from stunting due to malnutrition.

Disaster Response

Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country. Cyclones are the most common.

Disaster Response

The five-inch rise in sea levels predicted due to climate change has the potential to displace millions and place half of the country underwater by 2030.

Economic Development

Around 5 percent are unemployed, and 31.5 percent of the population is below the poverty line.

Bangladesh flag

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Progress in Bangladesh

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2012.

  • Worked with local partners to conduct nutritional training for moms, helping them learn simple ways to keep infants and young children healthy. They learned things like the importance of breastfeeding until six months and how to prepare nutrient-rich meals for their children using locally available foods.

  • Trained moms on how to treat diarrheal diseases at home, allowing them to help sick children recover.

  • Provided training for caregivers on the importance of vaccines, and prenatal and antenatal care to help more infants, children, and mothers survive and thrive; as a result, there has been an increase in pregnant women attending regular check-ups and children being fully vaccinated.

  • Installed safe water sources and hygienic latrines in coordination with the local government and other organizations, reducing the incidence of communicable diseases.

  • Organized concerned citizens to form water, sanitation, and health committees and enabled them to work with the local government and other organizations to improve sanitation and access to clean water in their communities.

  • Helped educate families on easy ways to protect themselves from illness, simply by doing things like practicing frequent handwashing.

  • Assisted vulnerable children and school drop-outs to complete their education, allowing them to gain access to formal education, technical school, or the job market, and giving them opportunities to prosper in life.

  • Partnered with community-based organizations to establish early child care and development centers for 3-4 year-olds, giving young children a good start to their education, and helping to ensure more kids go to school.

  • Provided training on running small businesses, farming and livestock techniques, and trades like plumbing, electrical, hotel management, sewing, and more, equipping parents and young people with skills to help them earn a sustainable income.

  • Trained community members on disaster preparedness and emergency response, including how to raise houses to protect them from flooding, emergency food storage, and where to seek support in the event of a disaster.

  • Formed child forums where girls and boys received information on things like child labor, early marriage, dowries, and children's rights, empowering them to play an active role in their community and in decisions that affect their life.

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    World Vision in Bangladesh Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Bangladesh to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 30,300 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Bangladesh. Highlights include:

    • Providing public health services mainly focused on primary health, nutrition education, and behavioral changes for children to keep themselves healthy.
    • Responding to emergencies and climate change through disaster relief, rehabilitation, and environmental preservation programs.
    • Assisting children with their education and helping raise the pass rate of national exams.
    • Providing opportunities for children to learn and reflect together about their rights, educational development, and future aspiration for democratic leadership.

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    World Vision History in Bangladesh

    World Vision began assisting the people of East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) in 1970 following a flood and cyclone, bringing relief to the people of the coastal region. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Helping Bangladeshis rebuild their homes after the civil war with West Pakistan after 1971.
    • Offering nutrition education to mothers and promoting pediatric research during the 1970s.
    • Providing food, clothing, housing, medical services, and rebuilding assistance for people affected by floods since the 1980s.
    • Increasing access to safe drinking water during the 1990s.
    • Helping children who were abused in adult correctional facilities move to juvenile detention centers since the beginning of the 21st century.

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    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Located in south Asia on the Ganges River delta, Bangladesh borders the Bay of Bengal, as well as India and Myanmar. Nearly 155 million people live in Bangladesh, making it one of the world’s most densely populated countries.

    Bangladesh sits in one of the most disaster-prone areas of the world. Frequent cyclones and floods have killed thousands of people and impeded economic growth for decades.

    About 45 percent of Bangladeshis work in agriculture. Crops include rice, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, and more. Because of severe overpopulation, farmers cannot produce enough crops. Natural resources include arable land, coal, natural gas, and timber.

    About 98 percent of people consider themselves Bengal. The official language is Bangla, often known as Bengali, but people also speak English.

    In Bangladeshi culture, parents often arrange for their daughter to marry when she is very young. She then lives with her husband’s family as she grows up. Her husband often is older, and she will never address him by name.

    History

    Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, proclaimed independence from West Pakistan in March 1971. Over the next 30 years, the country saw political assassinations, bloodless coups, and a succession of corrupt presidents and prime ministers.

    In October 2006, violent protests started over alleged election corruption when President Iajuddin Ahmed took office as chief adviser for the caretaker government. The violence intensified in January 2007, prompting President Ahmed to declare a state of emergency and postpone the impending elections. Elections resumed in late 2008.

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    Prayer Requests for Bangladesh

    • That parents would have open minds about changing harmful childhood practices like early marriages.
    • For the many people affected by annual flooding and other natural disasters, that they may stay safe and that early warning systems will help save lives.
    • For the millions of Bangladeshis living in poverty, unable to buy enough food for their families.
    • For economic stability, including lower inflation rates, within the country.