Photo: Kathleen Prior for Action Against Hunger, Bangladesh
161 million
Human Development Index
139 (out of 188 countries ranked)
Our Team
734 employees
Program Start

People Helped in 2020: 1,787,047

People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs 

Bangladesh is one of the world’s most populous countries. Malnutrition rates in the country are among the highest in the world: more than 54% of children under five are stunted and 17% are wasted. The country’s public health is further undermined by poorly developed water resources, inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices, and recurring natural disasters such as cyclones and seasonal floods, which are made worse by climate change. Just 29% of refugees have access to safe water through piped networks, while the rest rely on tube wells and hand pumps, which have high rates of E. coli contamination.

Since 2007, Action Against Hunger has responded to the urgent needs of people in Bangladesh through nutrition, health, and care practices, food security programs, water, sanitation and hygiene activities, and disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation programs. Following violence in Myanmar in August 2017, a large number of Rohingya and other ethnic minorities crossed the border into Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, where Action Against Hunger is a lead humanitarian actor. 

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During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, violence against women and children increased by around 31%. The primary and secondary impacts of the pandemic affected access to health and nutrition services for Rohingya refugees, exacerbating the nutrition crisis and increasing acute malnutrition rates by 14%.

Action Against Hunger's team in Bangladesh provided children under five in both the camps and host communities with nutrition prevention and treatment services. We also worked to improve access to water, sanitation, and hygiene both for Rohingya refugees living in camps and for the most vulnerable among the host population living in surrounding villages.

When the pandemic hit, our teams adopted telecounselling to reach families effectively. Our psychologists and psychosocial workers provided COVID-19 case management and psychosocial support services in urban areas of Dhaka and in Cox's Bazar. To ensure that malnutrition screenings continued, we worked with mothers and other caregivers to empower them to measure their children's nutrition status at home. Together with partners, we also developed an interim guide for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children with COVID-19.

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