Spotlight on the Struggles of Bangladesh
Earlier this year, Bangladesh was on target to becoming a middle-income country. That was until the pandemic hit.
MIC’s, or middle-income countries, are home to 75% of the world’s population and 62% of the world’s poorest communities. They are classified by their gross national income per capita, or GNI. Other middle-income countries include Indonesia, Kenya, Sudan and Pakistan. According to the World Bank, MIC’s are countries that are essential to the growth of the global economy. The World Bank supports these countries to help overcome their individual challenges, such as reducing poverty and implementing food and financial stability, which in return benefits the rest of the world’s population.
Sadly, for Bangladesh, the rate of poverty increased from 20% to 29% as a direct result of the pandemic on the economy. When the country went into lockdown, all businesses and trading had to come to a halt, which meant that many people were out of work. This added more pressure on the number of people living in poverty who depended on their daily wages to survive. No work meant no money, and with no indication as to when the economy would begin to function again, poverty began to slowly increase.
With strict lockdown measures and travel restrictions, it became increasingly difficult to find food or get medication. To make matters worse, schools also had to shut down. So not only were the adults suffering, but so were the children. Although the government began broadcasting educational programmes on national television, the children who had no access to a television either because of where they lived or poverty, missed out on their education. A huge setback for the developmental goals of Bangladesh.
Despite the risks, Bangladesh relaxed its restrictions in an effort to rebuild the economy and improve the livelihood of communities. On the 1st of September, all restrictions on movement were lifted and the economy began its recovery process.
At the peak of the pandemic, during lockdown, we responded to the physical and the psychological demands of our beneficiaries and healthcare workers in Bangladesh alongside our partners on the ground.
- We provided emergency food items to 450 households that were severely impacted by their loss of earnings in four districts across the country.
- We delivered medicine to 360 critically ill patients.
- We delivered 4,200 lunch and dinner packs to doctors and health care workers serving COVID-19 patients.
- We helped set up the ‘Health Care Services for Rohingya Refugees’ that ensured emergency health care services for the refugees, specifically for mothers and new born children, including COVID-19 screening to over 1,900 refugees, antenatal and postnatal checks, child and reproductive health care to 609 children, and medicine to 1,710 patients.
With better planning, we were able to overcome the challenges of travel restrictions to reach our beneficiaries and held distributions closer to their homes to avoid large gatherings.
Additionally, we set up awareness sessions for communities to help their understanding of the virus and what protective measures should be adopted to prevent spreading the disease. These sessions also provided information on personal hygiene, nutrition for children and infants, and family planning. Sessions were delivered with the intent to lift the morale in the community and help them create a more positive environment in their own homes.
We held motivational speeches for our beneficiaries where we promoted safety and how to continue developing personally during lockdown. Our talks to the community encouraged orphan children, and their guardians, to stay positive and it reminded them of the responsibilities they have towards the wellbeing of orphans and each other.
Orphans in Need and Bangladesh
Since we began working in Bangladesh in 2011, we have committed ourselves to bettering the lives of as many orphan and widowed families as possible. We aim to support the country on its journey to becoming a middle-income country and we will continue to help until all the orphans and widows have a better standard of living and fairer opportunities.
Our dream is that one day developing countries like Bangladesh, will not need the help of charitable organisations to function or give the poorest communities what they are entitled to. We will continue our work in these countries until they no longer need us.
If you want to know what you can do to help, click here to read about the projects we are running to support orphans and widows.