The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is located in in south Asia and is bordered by Burma and India with the Bay of Bengal to the south. Bangladesh continues to be one of the least developed countries in South Asia. About a third of the country floods every year due to the monsoon rainy season, severely hindering economic development.
Half of the country’s 161 million people live below the international poverty line and about 56 percent of Bangladeshi children are underweight. Luckily, the NGO sector in the country is very strong, and Heifer Bangladesh became an official country program in 2012.
Heifer's Work in Bangladesh
Heifer Bangladesh is targeting the northwest and northeast regions of Bangladesh where the poverty levels are very high. More than 60 percent of the total population in these two regions is living below the poverty line. The majority of the population’s income is based on agriculture and livestock; 89 percent of the total households are marginalized populations and small farmers. About 10 percent are landless farmers. Far below the national average, the literacy rate is 41.8 percent and 22.1 percent, respectively.
The three indicators of malnutrition, stunting, wasting and being underweight, are far below the national average with stunting at 43.2 percent, wasting at 17.4 percent with the total population recorded as being underweight at 41 percent.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable Agriculture: All families trained in improved animal management, including stall feeding and waste management; kitchen gardens produced with compost; forage and fodder planting and storage; community-based disaster-risk management; water harvesting; sanitation and hygiene
Post-Harvest Management: All families trained on food grain storage and food waste
Market Development: Self Help Groups are trained to form cooperatives, develop business plans and access the beef value chain
Technology: Social capital formation; improved animal management; improved cooking stoves; toilets; water harvesting; grain storage; cooperative formation; business plan development; access to the beef value chain
Nutrition: All families are trained on human nutrition, hygiene and sanitation with country specific curricula on which to base training.
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Heifer recently began operations in Bangladesh and, in August, received approval to start its first project.