Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries worldwide and poverty is widespread. Child malnutrition rates — exacerbated by frequent natural disasters and high population density — are among the highest in the world.
The country’s public health system is struggling with poorly developed water resources, inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices, and recurring natural disasters, such as cyclones and seasonal floods.
The majority of the country’s population live in rural areas, but due to rapid urbanisation shanty towns have sprung up in the country's largest cities. Here, a lack of public health services leave the poorest families vulnerable to disease and malnutrition.
In addition, humanitarian access to Rohingya refugees is limited in regions such as Cox's Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh and there are fears of a new influx of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.
What we are doing
Present in Bangladesh since 2007, our focus is to: treat malnourished children; work with health partners so they can correct and prevent the long-term impact of acute malnutrition on a community; develop emergency response plans for future disasters; and strengthen the quality, coverage, and impact of our work in Bangladesh.
We’re also building the capacity of national health partners to address acute malnutrition by promoting community- and home-based treatment. This will help malnourished children access the treatment they need without their parents or carers having to make long trips to health centres. Crucially, an improved health system will have the capacity to continue the work when we leave the country.