AusAid-Bangladesh Partnership

Street children receive education and learn to do arts and crafts in Bangladesh. The Australian Agency for International Development Agency's work in the country focuses on education, health, social protection, climate change and disaster risk reduction. Photo by: Melanie Ko / CC BY

Bangladesh is believed to be well on its way toward becoming a middle-income country. But while its economy is performing relatively well, equal distribution of wealth has yet to be achieved.

More than 43 percent of Bangladesh’s population lives below $1.25 per day, and the government estimates at least 26 million of its extremely poor citizens have failed to attain the most basic daily requirements. Creating a socially inclusive environment remains central to achieving development goals in Bangladesh.

The health sector, meanwhile, has seen significant improvements. Maternal and child mortality rates have dropped 70 and 66 percent, respectively, since 1990. Immunization coverage increased 30 percent in the same period. Despite these gains, however, 134,000 Bangladeshi children died from preventable causes in 2011.

In the education sector, a high enrollment rate of 92 percent is tempered by high dropout rates in primary schools. Over a third of the children enrolled fail to complete fifth grade, and just under a third of the children who finish primary school achieve the expected grade-level competencies, lowering their chances for further education and training.

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