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Poverty in Bangladesh

Bangladesh had made some remarkable achievements in reducing poverty and other improving social and economic outcomes between 1991 and 2000.

  • Poverty rates fell by 9% during that decade
  • The percentage of population that completed grade five increased from 44% in 1991-92 to 56% in 2000

However, significant challenges remain:

  • Some 63 million people (roughly half the population), still live in severe deprivation, according to 2000 data
  • 55% of people over the age of seven couldn't read nor write
  • While fewer people lived in extreme poverty, inequality within and across regions gradually increased

The country's major challenge is to keep the momentum in some successful areas and expand these successes into other more challenging areas of social and human development.

The World Bank has been providing technical assistance to the Government for improving its poverty measurement and deepening understanding of bottlenecks for pro-poor growth and poverty alleviation. The Bank's work program entails:

  • Poverty assessment based on Household Income and Expenditure Surveys
  • Improving the data processing and analyzing facility in the Bureau of Statistics
  • Providing technical assistance for designing a safety net survey geared toward improving the efficacy of safety-net programs

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Last Updated: 6/7/06

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