In the last decade, numerous methods, groups and programs have attempted to reduce poverty in Bangladesh. With help from its government, as well as other governments, the nation has managed to reduce its poverty levels by over half in the last decade and is working towards reducing it even further. The country has implemented several successful development innovations. On top of it all, the country is also providing asylum to almost one million Rohingya people.
3 Organizations Reduce Poverty in Bangladesh
What has been done to get Bangladesh to this point? These are three organizations and their efforts that helped reduce poverty in Bangladesh:
- BRAC: As of December of 2016, the national aid organization BRAC had reached over 90,000 families in Bangladesh suffering from extreme poverty. BRAC was founded in 1972 in Bangladesh with the goal of discovering the cause of extreme poverty in the nation and ways to relieve its people. The main aim of the organization was to empower the impoverished, especially women, through interventions described as a “poverty graduation” plan. The steps of the plan are as follows: target a group, transfer assets, provide weekly stipends, encourage members to begin a savings account, provide specialized training, introduce health care and integrate the group into society. The poverty graduation plan takes around two years to complete. What’s unique about this program is it provides people with the tools to make this lifestyle sustainable so they will not fall back into poverty (if the tools remain available). To date, more than 95 percent of the participants have reached graduation.
- The Grameen Danone Foundation: This foundation was established in 2007. It is a social business model that aims to reduce extreme hunger in Bangladesh through the distribution of affordable yogurt that provides missing nutrients to malnourished people. The foundation created jobs for local farmers and women looking to bring themselves out of poverty. To ensure lasting jobs, the foundation used as little machinery as possible so that production would be more hands-on. On top of such action, Grameen Danone paid laborers at top prices to boost the economy. When acquiring the materials for the yogurt, the foundation goes to local farms and businesses to keep the process at a grass-roots organization level. The main priority of the organization is to provide nutritious products to extreme poverty areas at an affordable rate, while also providing jobs to those looking to help themselves.
- The Poverty Eradication Program (PEP): PEP is a non-profit, non-governmental (NGO) organization operating at the national level in Bangladesh. PEP focuses on rural poverty in its most extreme variations and works with the people to provide them with resources that will allow them to rise out of poverty. The organization specializes in economic, social and environmental empowerment. For example, in some instances, PEP helps families start up small businesses that will not only empower them but the whole community they live in as well. PEP will provide the resources needed to start the business then watch as it flourishes. They accomplish such feats through grants, training or offering the tools required for business.
Organizations and charities recognized that investing in the people of Bangladesh was the best way to reduce poverty. World Bank group president, Jim Yong Kim, gave a speech in 2017 praising the efforts made by Bangladesh. One of his most important points was that between 2003 and 2013, women’s employment jumped from seven million to seventeen million.
Bangladesh aims to become a middle-income country by 2021 and to eradicate most, if not all, poverty by 2030. With the help and compassion from several organizations and the government, there has been great progress to reduce poverty in Bangladesh. Many other countries could follow suit and learn from Bangladesh’s poverty reduction efforts.
– Miranda Garbaciak