Bangladesh

Located in south Asia on the Ganges River delta, Bangladesh borders the Bay of Bengal, India, and Myanmar. About 160 million people live in Bangladesh, making it one of the world’s most densely populated countries.

  • Population: 148,692,000
  • Life Expectancy: 69 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 80%
  • School Enrollment: 89%
  • Land Mass: 55,597 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 56%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 47/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 640

Facts about Bangladesh

Disaster Response

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 45 percent of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition.

Disaster Response

About 36 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

Economic Development

The 5-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.

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.

  • Provided livestock, seeds, and fruit trees to families, supplying them with nutritious food and increasing income.

  • Drilled wells, providing safe drinking water and decreasing waterborne illness.

  • Constructed household latrines to improve sanitation.

  • Supported schools by renovating and furnishing classrooms and providing teaching aids.

  • Helped children stay in school by assisting with school fees and providing textbooks.

  • Established preschools to increase access to early childhood education.

  • Organized disaster management committees to respond to emergencies.

  • Established and trained community-based organizations, which provide jobs and help communities become self-sufficient.

  • Provided vocational training for community members.

  • Held workshops on women’s rights, children’s rights, and the consequences of early marriage.

  • Established children’s forums to advocate for child rights in the community.

  • Children participated in a cultural program and received gifts.

  • Implemented a supplemental feeding program for pregnant mothers and children, reducing severe malnutrition.

  • Provided age-appropriate HIV and AIDS education for children and young people.

  • Worked with local health agencies to immunize and deworm children.

  • Monitored children's health and helped sick children access medical treatment.

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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 36,600 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Bangladesh. Highlights include:

    • Reaching college students with HIV and AIDS prevention information.
    • Offering courses designed for women, giving them skills like bookkeeping, simple accounting, reading, writing, and self-managing their revolving loans.
    • Implementing agricultural programs in communities, ranging from raising crops and livestock to pond fishing and household fruit trees.
    • Installing more than 2,000 tube-wells in arsenic-free areas.
    • Encouraging attendance at primary school through special programs.

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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, India, and Myanmar. About 160 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 Bangladesh 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. 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

    • The millions of Bangladeshis living in poverty and unable to buy enough food for their families.
    • Economic stability, including lower inflation rates, within the country.