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DFID Bangladesh
United House, 10 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan 1, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Tel:+880 2 881 0800| Fax:+880 2 882 3181

Map courtesy of the FCO



Bangladesh is one of world's most densely populated countries. Poverty is deep and widespread, although Bangladesh has made progress in reducing poverty, from 59% in 1991/2 to 50% in 2002, and improving health and education. The country is vulnerable to flooding, cyclones and the effects of climate change.

In recent years, there has been steady economic growth of over 5% of GDP, but poor people must share in the benefits of this and must feel more secure in their every day lives. Government needs to demonstrate stronger commitment to reduce poverty and must tackle poor governance including improving service delivery and reducing corruption.




Poverty (less than 1$/day)

47m (36%)

Poverty (national poverty line)

68m (50%)


Part 1 (DAC), Low-income (World Bank)

DFID programme aid (2006/7)

£125m (approximately Tk15bn)

12002, source: DFID Statistics on International Development (2004)

Progress to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The Millennium Development Goals are a set of commitments by the international community to reduce global poverty. The goals are the framework by which DFID (and most other countries) measures development progress.

Bangladesh is on track to largely meet MDGs to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women. However, there is unacceptably poor progress on reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

DFID’s Programme in Bangladesh

The DFID Country Assistance Plan (CAP) seeks to reduce poverty and address the MDGs through a programme promoting growth, better governance and human development emphasising the multi dimensional nature of poverty and its particular relevance to women and girls.

The present CAP 2003-2006 is in the process of being reviewed. The next CAP is being developed jointly with the Asian Development Bank, Embassy of Japan, and the World Bank. DFID is focussing its programme on seven key areas prioritised in the Government of Bangladesh’s own Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP): primary education, health care, water and sanitation, livelihoods of the poorest, private sector development and economic infrastructure, governance, and disaster preparedness and climate change.

Examples of our ongoing programme include:

  • Primary education: Providing 17 million children a year with a quality education. It is expected that, by 2005 Bangladesh is likely to have as many girls as boys enrolling into primary education.
  • Health: Five-year partnership programme with the Government and donors to accelerate progress towards the health MDGs. This Health, Nutrition and Population Sector Programme will help bring health services to the doorsteps of many more poor and vulnerable people and will avert half a million infant deaths and around 20,000 maternal deaths.
  • Maternal health: Supporting the Safe Motherhood Initiative to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality in addition to improving primary health care and family planning practice.
  • Water and Sanitation: Rural Hygiene, Sanitation & Water Supply programme in partnership with the Government and UNICEF is reducing the number of deaths as a result of diarrhoea and other water borne diseases. Supporting the Government’s National Arsenic Mitigation Programme that is helping poor households cope with the potential impact of arsenic on their health and livelihoods.
  • Rural livelihoods: Chars Livelihoods Programme with the Government is improving livelihood security and increasing employment opportunities for 6.5 million extreme poor and vulnerable people living on chars (sand islands) in northern Bangladesh.
  • Climate change and natural disasters: Supporting the UNDP and the Government to develop a comprehensive disaster management programme, which will strengthen Bangladesh’s ability to respond to and recover after major disasters.

Further information

For more information on DFID's work in Bangladesh visit the DFID Bangladesh website:External

Last updated: 20 May 2005

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