Bangladesh is with 143,998 km2 about 4 times the size of The Netherlands with an estimated population of about 160 million people. The densely populated country shares its borders mainly with India and Burma. In Bangladesh 50% of the population is categorized as poor, while another 20% is categorized as so called hardcore poor. 23% of the population is between 10-19 years old.
- Capital: Dhaka
- Under-five mortality rate: 48 per 1,000
- Maternal mortality rate: 240 per 100,000
- Life expectancy (M/F): 64 / 66
- Adolescent fertility rate (girls aged 15-19 years): 133 per 1,000
- Proportion of population without access to improved drinking water-sources: 19%
- Proportion of population without access to improved sanitation: 44%
Source: World Health Statistics 2012, WHO
Simavi's strategic focus for Bangladesh
Bangladesh was included as one of Simavi’s focus countries in 2000. In this country, Simavi mainly focuses on marginalised people in South West Coastal area and hill tracks of Chittagong. These areas suffer most from natural disasters such as floods and cyclones and there is much poverty. The main thematic areas identified were primary health care services, WatSan and crosscutting focus on capacity building of (smaller) NGO partners.
The Bangladesh constitution does not acknowledge the right to water and sanitation as a human right despite the government voted in support for last year’s UN resolution in this regard. This means that Simavi’s WASH will strengthen their advocacy efforts to include among others this issue with government counterparts at national and district level.