Quick facts

  • 164 million people
  • 14.8% living on less than USD $1.90 / day
  • 53.3% of women have experienced intimate partner violence

The poverty rate in Bangladesh is the highest of any nation in Asia and inequality is on the rise.

As one of the most densely populated countries in the world — with a large population that relies on the land to survive — climate change is as real threat to the people of Bangladesh. As the land degrades, families are unable to produce enough food to sell for income or to feed themselves. The impacts are far-reaching.

Overcrowding deepens the persistent problems of poverty like unemployment and inadequate housing — for many, there is no choice but to move to a densely populated area in search of a livelihood.

The issue of inequality across gender, ethnicity and regional divides also contributes to poverty. Without proper support, marginalised people are unable to assert their basic human rights, access essential services or contribute to society.

Key areas of work

Humanitarian Capacity Building and Response, Climate Change Adaptation, Gender and Women’s Leadership, Economic Justice & Resilience, Labour Rights

One story


Laila, who is five months pregnant, is not aware of her husband’s whereabouts after fleeing her home in Myanmar. “We didn’t bring anything. With two children and along with other people we fled and came here. We didn’t even bring clothes.”

“I have two small children and I am five months pregnant. The children are sick. I worry most about their food. My worry is, I can’t feed them, can’t give them medicine. I can’t send them to school. I want to give education to my children, that’s my hope.”

About 700,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed over to Bangladesh from Myanmar. Almost a quarter are pregnant women, new mothers and children under five.

Now, there are at least million people crowded together in camps with little or no food, shelter and clean drinking water, the risk of waterborne diseases is alarmingly high. Women, girls and children are also particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.

Oxfam Australia is on the ground providing life-saving support with a particular focus on the protection needs of women and girls.

With your help we can prevent the worst from happening. But we must act now.

Key projects

Bangladesh REE-CALL

Oxfam Australia is working to strengthen community resilience in disaster-prone rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. Oxfam is providing local communities with support in three different areas: economic justice including women’s economic empowerment; climate action and disaster risk reduction; and active citizenship. This four-year project (2017-2021) is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Bangladesh-Myanmar Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Oxfam Australia is providing life-saving support to 76,360 of the most vulnerable people who have been displaced from Myanmar to Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp in Bangladesh. Oxfam is providing basic water, sanitation and hygiene with a particular focus on the participation and protection needs of women and girls. This $3 million, one year project (2017-2018) is implemented by Oxfam Australia in partnership with CARE on behalf of the Australian Government through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership Agreement.

Promoting Resilience through Index Insurance in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Oxfam Australia is working to strengthen the resilience of poor and vulnerable farmers, especially women; and engage private sector and international research institutes for sustainability, innovation and knowledge management on weather index insurance. This two-year project (2017-2019) is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Improving the dairy sector and promoting sustainable energy use in Bangladesh

Oxfam in Bangladesh is partnering with the Bangladesh SME Corporation Limited (BSCL) to enable dairy enterprises to access finance for business expansion and off-grid energy solutions. The project generates income through increased milk trading, and empowers women through reduced work burden, recognition and economic gains. This three year project (2017-2019) is supported by the Australian Government through the Business Partnerships Platform.

Resilient, Inclusive and Innovative Cities in Bangladesh

Oxfam Australia is working to strengthen the resilience of marginalised communities in urban areas of Bangladesh through improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene; disaster preparedness and response; livelihoods; and women empowered for decent work. This three year project (2018-2021) is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).




We know the best way to fight poverty and injustice is to help people help themselves. Change the lives of vulnerable communities in Bangladesh and around the world today.


Demand big clothing brands pay the women who make our clothes a living wage. While big brands make big money, and women like Anju (pictured) struggle to survive on poverty wages.

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