CARE’s work in Bangladesh

CARE has worked in Bangladesh since 1949, responding to emergencies and working on long-term development. Our projects have a strong focus on empowering marginalised women. We support women’s economic empowerment and work to reduce gender-based violence, improve access to quality health care and reduce maternal mortality rates. We are committed to tackling the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice. We draw on our grassroots experience and relationships with civil society, government and the private sector to amplify the voices of the poor and marginalised to influence public opinion, development practice and policy at all levels.

Emergencies and the changing climate

CARE provides immediate emergency supplies and relief whenever a disaster hits. We work with survivors in the long-term to help them rebuild their lives. We work with communities to reduce the impact of future disasters – for example, creating flood-reduction systems to protect crops and homes. We train farmers in innovative farming methods – such as floating gardens and raising ducks instead of chickens – and work with communities to develop solutions to the causes of long-term food insecurity.

Rupjan with her son and her goats

Enhancing inclusive disaster resilience

CARE is one of a consortium of international NGOs working with ECHO funding to strengthen the capacity of national and local government, communities and vulnerable people to prepare for and respond to disasters - including to ensure that they can continue to earn an income during times of adversity or uncertainty.

Rupjan Bewa (above), a widow with three children, lives in Char Araji Pipulbari, Jatrapur Union, Kurigram. “There are very limited employment options in our Char area. Therefore people are very poor,” says Rupjan. She received technical training on livestock rearing, three goats to start her livestock farm, and training on identifying and preparing for climatic variabilities. She says:

I couldn’t feed my children properly during lean seasons. I didn’t have work as an agricultural day labourer because of floods. But my situation has changed. I earn my living. I am not dependent on others to bring food in my home. I earn enough to spend on my children’s education and healthcare. I earned prosperity in my life.

The project, “Enhancing inclusive disaster resilience in Bangladesh”, aims to enhance the resilience of the most at-risk groups to recurring and escalating disaster risks, and is funded by ECHO (European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection).

ECHO flag

Building the capacity to respond to disasters

When an emergency hits, the first thing governments, humanitarian agencies and local organisations have to do is work out what support people need. With so many actors involved, it is much more effective and collaborative for organisations, agencies and the government to come together and carry out a Joint Needs Assessment in a coordinated way, rather than everyone going out separately to people and asking the same questions and duplicating efforts.

The SUBARNA project (Supporting Bangladesh Rapid Needs Assessment), funded by UK aid through the Department for International Development, provides capacity building and technical support to agency and government staff, and helps coordinate a Needs Assessment Working Group to bring together evidence, analysis and data and help guide the Joint Needs Assessment process. Habibullah Bahar, Executive Director of Manab Mukti Sangstha, as local NGO in Sirajganj district, said:

Joint Needs Assessment is allowing us to allocate resource mobilisation and fund raising after emergencies very swiftly in an efficient and effective manner. I will prepare my team for emergency assessment and co-ordination as a member of NAWG. Thanks to CARE Bangladesh for taking this initiative.

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Measuring women’s empowerment

Our Shouhardo programme – which set out to reduce malnutrition among more than 2 million of the poorest people in Bangladesh – achieved astounding results through a simple strategy: women’s empowerment. The programme contributed to a reduction in child stunting (a measure of the impact of malnutrition) by 28% in less than four years, despite a crop-crushing cyclone and food price spikes. Researchers found that women who participated in empowerment interventions to help them fight sexual harassment, move about their communities more freely and gain a greater say in household decisions, were less likely to have stunted children than women who only received direct nutrition interventions such as regular food rations. Watch this short video to find out how women’s empowerment boosted the health of a nation.

About CARE

Founded in 1945 to send 'CARE packages' to people recovering from war, we have been fighting poverty in the world’s poorest countries for 75 years.

CARE's impact

We work in 104 countries around the world, saving lives in emergencies and finding long-term solutions to poverty for millions of people every year.

Our aims

We empower women and girls to fulfil their potential – because when one woman is helped out of poverty, she brings her family and community with her.

Your support

Your support is what makes our poverty-fighting work possible. You can trust us to spend our funds wisely and effectively to help people in need.

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