Statistics show that in recent times, the level of poverty in Bangladesh has dropped. Yet, almost 1 in 4 Bangladeshis are STILL living in EXTREME poverty, demonstrating the historical and current magnitude of the problem.
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated nations in the world with high levels of food poverty. With 32% of the land consisting of coastal plains, the smallest fluctuation in rainfall can destroy the delicate ecosystems and increase salt levels in both land and water.
This means livelihoods can literally be washed away in an instant. Over half of the families living in these areas experience food shortages for up to six months a year as damaged land drastically reduces crop yields. It is children who then pay the price of the destruction as they become vulnerable to child labour and trafficking, whilst communities also risk contracting water-borne diseases.
Regarding healthcare, 58% of physicians work within the private sector in Bangladesh, meaning that those living in poverty can’t afford to access over half of the medical staff in the country. Furthermore, healthcare professionals are concentrated in urban cities, despite 70% of the population living in rural areas, thus the healthcare system is even more inaccessible in rural Bangladesh.
- A staggering 31% of children don’t reach their 5th birthday (Asian Development Bank, 2013)
- 49% of children under 5 are chronically undernourished (UNICEF, 2017)
- Over 25% of the adult population are illiterate (UNESCO, 2016)
- 1 in 10 people have limited access to water (WHO/UNICEF, 2015)