Bangladesh | ActionAid UK



We started work in Bangladesh in 1983. In 2014, we helped over 130,000 people living in poverty to claim their rights, prepare for natural disasters and improve their livelihoods.

Our approach

We support women living on the margins of survival to prepare and adapt to climate change. We build flood-proof villages, provide salt-resistant seeds, teach children how to survive in a disaster and build child-friendly spaces where they can continue their studies when the route to school is flooded. We also help local women’s groups develop innovative farming techniques and campaign for stronger embankments.

We work with 62 partner organisations to help the most vulnerable women and girls, including street children and people with disabilities. We make people aware of their rights to health care, clean water, education and safe working conditions, and work with local government to make sure basic services are provided.

Why we work in Bangladesh

Poverty is deep and widespread in Bangladesh and it is made worse by the impacts of extreme weather like cyclones and hurricanes.

Bangladesh is already extremely badly affected by climate change. In 2014, 150,000 people’s homes were completely destroyed by flash floods. Cylones and storms are getting bigger and coming faster and women and children are most at risk.

  • 33
    A third of the country floods each year, affecting over 10 million people.
  • 8
    8% of girls under the age of 14 are forced into child labour.
  • 100
    Around 3.3 million children remain out of school.

During climate disasters, girls could be pressured to marry young and drop out of school. In a country with one of the highest rates of child marriage in the worldclimate change is only making things worse by placing huge pressure on already poor families. When parents struggle to feed their children, many feel compelled to arrange for their daughters to be married.

Cases of violence against women are very high, especially rape and acid attacks. A lack of respect for workers’ rights results in disasters like the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013. The legal system does not do enough to protect workers and prevent violence, meaning all too often the suffering of women is ignored.

How we're changing lives for good in Bangladesh


Photo: Mahmud /MAP/ActionAid, Nicola Bailey/ActionAid, ActionAid.