Welthungerhilfe India, Nepal, Bangladesh

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Key Facts

160 million

Estimated population of Bangladesh (World Population Review)

47 million+

live below poverty line, (World Bank)

25 million+

people are expected to be at risk of rising sea levels by 2050 (UNEP)

90th position

Bangladesh is ranked 90th among 118 countries in Global Hunger Index 2016

With more than 2,600 people per square mile, Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Since the early 1990s the country’s economy has grown by five to six percent a year. It has also made considerable progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially in reducing income poverty, getting nearly all girls and boys enrolled in primary schools, and reducing child and maternal mortality.

However poverty remains widespread in the country. More than 4 in 10 people live on less than $1.25 per day and over three quarters on less than $2.00. Basic services like health and education along with skill development need to expand fast to keep pace with the young population, and the quality of these services needs to improve. 1 in 19 children die before they reach five years old, and around 120,000 babies die every year in their first month of life. A quarter of women are undernourished and thousands die each year due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Contamination of drinking water with arsenic (from natural sources) and sea water are big challenges.

Also, Bangladesh has had a long history of dealing with natural disasters triggered by rainfall, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones. Two thirds of its territory is less than 5 metres above sea level. It is recognized as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Annually up to 20,000-30,000 households lose their homes, land and livelihood as a result of erosion and thus become destitute. Severe flooding during monsoons can cause significant damage to crops and property, and an adverse impact on rural livelihoods.

Our Work

Welthungerhilfe has currently been working in Bangladesh’s south eastern Chittagong Hill Tracts, Haor and Char regions. Chittagong Hill Tracts have been for decades the site of ethnic conflict between Bangladeshi settlers, the country’s main ethnic group, and the indigenous groups. The conflict and violence have displaced many in the region.

In these regions,which are ecologically fragile, we are supporting the implementation of Sustainable Integrated Farming Systems (SIFS) . The project promotes inter linkages between the various production systems within a small farm to reduce the cost of production and optimize the overall productivity of the farm, along with increased participation of producers in the value chain and marketing.

Through Climate Smart Village initiative, Welthungerhilfe aims to make their target villages ‘climate smart’ with improved food and nutrition security and better preparedness for disasters.