We support some 6,500 children in 9 projects in Bangladesh, where we have worked since 1971. Our projects are spread over the entire country and are run by our local partners, who have in-depth knowledge of the situation on the ground.


Between floods and droughts: promoting women and empowering children

Bangladesh ranks among the world's poorest countries. Nearly half of the population lives below the poverty level. Many children are malnourished. The child mortality rate is high. What's more, too many girls and boys have to work instead of going to school. As a result of climate change, the country often suffers from floods and droughts. In southern Bangladesh, increasing soil salinity has caused a decline in agricultural productivity.

We primarily support disadvantaged children and increase the resilience of families to better cope with natural disasters. At the same time, we advocate for children's rights and strengthen civil society.

The challenges

Two children staying in the rain under an umbrella. (Source: Jens Großmann)
When rain turns into flood children in Bangladesh be made homeless quickly.

Many people in Bangladesh are extremely poor. Forty percent of the working population consists of day labourers who have little chance of breaking out of the cycle of poverty. Most of them work only a few hours a week and earn starvation wages. Inadequate infrastructure and widespread corruption prevent the country from developing. Children and youth suffer the most from this situation. Over 40 percent of children under the age of five are malnourished.

Southern Bangladesh lies directly on the seacoast. Due to climate change and the rainy season, large areas of the country are flooded by water every year. Rising sea levels introduce saltwater into the country's coastal aquifers, which destroys drinking water reserves. Soils are becoming salinated, especially in the south of the country, rendering it increasingly difficult to cultivate the land. Farmers, nearly have of all workers, are particularly hard hit by this development.

The educational situation in Bangladesh is precarious. Illiteracy rates, caused by inadequate schools and a lack of good teachers, are alarming. After completing the fifth grade, 70% of children cannot read or write, which often leaves impoverished girls and boys with no alternative but to start working at an early age.

  • Our work in the country

    We launched our work in Bangladesh following the country’s Declaration of Independence in 1971. Today, our projects focus on supporting street children, girls, women and entire communities as well as disaster risk reduction.

    We are primarily committed to strengthening the rights of girls and women. Our projects help them organise themselves in self-help groups to collectively find a way out of poverty. Unmarried pregnant girls and women, who are at particular risk in Bangladesh, find refuge in special shelters.

    By collaborating closely with our partners, we help children stand on their own two feet and get a good start to a life free from exploitation. Homes for boys and girls and vocational training centres teach children and young people important life skills like reading, writing and arithmetic. But they also learn manual skills that will help them find employment in the future. Our work in Bangladesh also includes street children.

    We support rural development programmes, self-help groups for women and children, vocational training initiatives, homes for boys and girls, a project for unmarried pregnant girls and women, an institution for street children and a disaster risk reduction project.

  • Key figures on Bangladesh

    • 166 million people live in Bangladesh (among the top 10 most populated countries of the world)
    • 32 % of Bangladeshis are under the age of 15
    • 35 % of all children under the age of 5 are underweight
    • 13 % of all children have to perform child labour
    • 32 % of all people in Bangladesh live below the poverty line

    Sources: Factbook, United Nations

Bangladesh: Help for street children

Bangladesh: Help for street children

In the capital Dhaka, many children between the ages of five and 14 live on the streets. Our partner organisation provides street children with food, accommodation and an opportunity to receive education.

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How we work

How we work

Learn more about how we realize child rights.

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High-ranking visitors at Kindernothilfe office: From foster child to bishop

High-ranking visitors at Kindernothilfe office: From foster child to bishop

We all were very delighted when two former foster children from Bangladesh visited us in September - and they brought the son of another former foster child with them!

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