Photo: Peter Caton/Oxfam

OUR WORK IN BANGLADESH

our impact

  • 8 projects
  • 48 partners
  • 2,162,605 people helped

Quick facts

  • 169million people
  • 31.5%living on less than USD $1.25 / day
  • 13.1%don’t have access to safe water

The poverty rate in Bangladesh remains high and inequality is increasing.

As one of the most densely populated countries in the world — with a large population that relies on the land to survive — climate change is a real threat to the people of Bangladesh. As the land degrades, families are unable to produce enough food to sell for income or to feed themselves.

The impacts are far-reaching. Overcrowding deepens the persistent problems of poverty like unemployment and inadequate housing — for many, there is no choice but to move to a densely populated area in search of a livelihood.

The issue of inequality across gender, ethnicity and regional divides also contributes to poverty. Without proper support, marginalised people are unable to assert their basic human rights, access essential services or contribute to society.

Oxfam are in Bangladesh empowering people to make a change and address the slow and rapid onset of climate change.

Key areas of work

Humanitarian aid, Climate change adapation, Gender-based violence

One story of change

Photo: Rachel Corner/OxfamAUS

Photo: Rachel Corner/OxfamAUS

Life on Gabgachi char in northern Bangladesh is precarious — work is hard to come by, the floods wash away homes and crops, and families like Joygun’s struggle to buy food for their children.

“It’s difficult during the floods,” Joygun says. “We can’t eat, we can’t go to market. Our cattle suffer. Our children get diarrhoea and other diseases.”

To help  women like Joygun, Oxfam and its partners have enabled families to earn a reliable income by growing and selling chillies. It’s all part of the REE-CALL project (Resilience through Economic Empowerment, Climate Adaptation, Leadership and Learning), which is helping vulnerable communities across Bangladesh.

“Since we’ve been growing chillies we’ve been suffering less during the floods. We can sell them and save money. That money I can use to spend on food and clothes for my children. We’re living a better life and I feel good about that.”

The REE-CALL project also focuses on promoting the leadership role of women like Joygun, which has led to more women taking an active role in the community-based organisation. “Now I can contribute to my family on my own. I can provide clothes, pens and notepads, books. Before, my husband used to beat me, but after going to the meetings he doesn’t do it anymore. Now, we work together on everything. He gives me more respect.”

Quite simply, the chillies have transformed Joygun’s life. She’s earning more, she can feed her family and she’s able to prepare for the future.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

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We know the best way to fight poverty and injustice is to help people help themselves. Change the lives of vulnerable communities in Bangladesh and around the world today.

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Demand justice for the workers who make your clothes in Bangladesh. Dangerous factory conditions are still commonplace and the minimum wage is amongst the lowest in the region.

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Partake in a little guilt-free shopping and support communities in 38 countries around the world. Oxfam shops have unique treasures, just waiting for you to take them home.