Bangladesh as an aid recipient

This briefing paper analyses Bangladesh as an aid recipient. It also looks at other financial flows such as remittances, as well as country statistics and indicators such as multidimensional poverty. Bangladesh is the ninth largest country in the world by population (164.4 million people) and is one of the most densely populated. Almost half of its people live on less than US$1.25 a day (World Bank, 2005) and 80% on less than US$2.00 a day (DFID, 2011).

The size and density Bangladesh’s population, together with regular extreme weather events, such as floods and cyclones, make the country extremely vulnerable to natural hazards becoming natural disasters. During the past ten years, 12 major natural disasters have impacted upon its people; floods affected 36 million in 2004 and Cyclone Sidr in 2007 affected over nine million. Since 2000, US$430 million has been raised for disaster response, with over half of it allocated to the humanitarian operation following Cyclone Sidr.

Aside from a history of natural disasters, an estimated 300,000 refugees of the Muslim minority Rohinga ethnic group have fled from neighbouring Myanmar since being stripped of their citizenship in 1982, and are now resident in Bangladesh. Tens of thousands live in official and informal refugee settlements, while a far larger number live as ‘illegal economic migrants’ throughout Bangladesh.

The Rohinga refugee crisis is often considered a ‘forgotten’ crisis. The frequency of disasters has prompted a strong domestic capacity working to prevent and respond to humanitarian emergencies.