ActionAid began operating in Bangladesh in 1983, and now works with 62 partner organisations and over half a million people to address poverty and injustice. We also work to lessen the impact of natural disasters on the population.
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with 156 million people living on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas. About a third of the country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, and the population is extremely vulnerable to cyclones and hurricanes (as well as waterborne diseases). 36 per cent of the population live below the poverty line.
Child sponsorship in Bangladesh
Sponsor a child in BangladeshMuktha is a sponsored child (pictured right with her mother Sofikun) and is helping improve her entire community. Through her sponsorship and working with local groups, ActionAid has helped establish a farming cooperative to train women on seed preservation and sowing techniques that have helped families who previously suffered from hunger.
As well as affecting health; hunger prevented children from going to school, affecting their concentration and motivation. Now with child sponsorship funds, people are more self sufficient and children are enrolled in school and supplied with educational materials.
Equality and security in Bangladesh
We work to strengthen women's position in society by increasing their access to land, skills training, adult learning and local government. Our Stop violence against Women campaign promotes a culture of zero tolerance for violence against women and girls. We work to improve access to justice for survivors of acid attacks and campaign to control the sale of acid. We also work with street children, disabled people, landless people and those at greatest risk of contracting HIV and AIDS.
Cyclone Sidr left thousands dead and many more without food or shelter in November 2007. ActionAid provided food, cooking materials, water, clothing and medicine in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone. We also provided psychosocial care to help people deal with the trauma of losing loved ones and are continuing our work to help communities prepare for future cyclones.
Since 2001, we've been working with poor communities living in flood-prone areas to teach disaster preparedness to young people like Salma Begum. As well as addressing their immediate needs with practical services such as education, healthcare and savings and credit groups, we also help community groups to lobby local authorities and influence government policies.
How you can help
When you sponsor a child in Bangladesh, you'll be providing the resources for real, long-term change. You'll get two letters a year from the child you sponsor, and updates from the country programme to tell you how the money you are spending is changing the community your child lives in.