Entrepreneur Solutions

Bangladesh : Help Desk

Save the Children has worked in Bangladesh since 1970, providing relief during and after the war for independence from Pakistan. Since then, we’ve improved thousands of children’s lives by focusing on better nutrition, health and education.

Challenges for Children

Life is difficult for families in Bangladesh. The country is riddled with malnutrition, illiteracy and infectious diseases — due in great part to abject poverty among about half of the country’s 150 million people.
Tropical monsoons, frequent floods and cyclones inflict heavy damage annually to this impoverished nation. Over a third of the population is under the age of 18 and almost seven million children between five and 14 have to work to help their families survive.
While Bangladesh has made significant progress in addressing national health and education challenges over the past three decades of its independence, the country remains one of the world’s poorest; indicators place it amongst the least developed countries.

Sponsorship

In 2003, Save the Children began implementing sponsorship-funded programs targeting children and adolescents. The adolescent reproductive and sexual health (ARSH) program, called KAISHAR (“adolescence” in Bangla), planned its activities in all 13 unions with initial concentration on six unions of Nasirnagar.


Health and Nutrition

Chronic hunger is made worse by high rates of disease – particularly in children. Malnutrition has lifelong consequences – malnourished children are more likely to become ill more often and perform poorly in school. Women who are malnourished are more likely to give birth to small or underweight babies – repeating this dangerous cycle. Malnutrition in childhood is also associated with developmental delays, lower economic productivity and susceptibility to chronic disease into adulthood. These limitations are compounded when populations are forced to seek their livelihoods in remote and disaster-prone areas where they are at high risk each year.

Where We Work - BangladeshEmergency Response

In November 2007, Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, leaving 200,000 families homeless. Save the Children quickly set up 40 spaces where children could learn and play and provided 13,000 children with a nutritious meal every day and clean drinking water. We also provided temporary shelter for 3,000 children and their families, and supplied teaching and play materials to 500 preschools attended by nearly 53,000 children.


Sources

Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers report. You can access detailed data here.
Other sources as follows: Infant Mortality Rate: CIA World Factbook 2012; Life Expectancy at Birth: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; National Poverty Rate: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; Population: CIA World Factbook 2012; Human Development Index Rank: United Nations Development Program
Last Updated July 2012

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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