Latest update

Average COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh have been climbing since late June. As of July 17, over 11,000 cases are being recorded per day and the number is still rising. At this time, Bangladesh has fully vaccinated just over 3% of its population of 162.7 million people. The lockdown in Bangladesh remains in effect, though it was recently lifted from July 15th - 23rd for the popular holiday of Eid al-Adha. Schools will remain closed, as well as churches and other community centres. Restaurants, shopping centres, nonessential businesses and public transportation can only operate at half capacity and with strict masking rules.

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Country update

Crisis Reports from Bangladesh

  • update icon

    Flash Flooding in South-Eastern Bangladesh (Final Crisis Report) 03 Aug, 2021

    The situation

    Heavy rain over four consecutive days in late July caused rivers to overflow and resulted in flash flooding in some areas of South-Eastern Bangladesh. Some families sadly lost their entire homes in the floods. Affected children and families were provided with emergency relief items.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 1 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 48

    New information

    Local partners offered comfort, support and supplies to those affected by the floods in their communities. The water levels are reported to have receded in some areas now. Families who have not yet been able to return safely to their homes are being cared for in temporary shelters.

    Prayer

    Thank you for your prayers for families and local partners impacted by the recent flooding. Please continue to pray for these communities as they grapple with floods, poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    Flash Flooding in South-Eastern Bangladesh 29 Jul, 2021

    The situation

    Heavy rain over four consecutive days in late July, and the subsequent rise in river water levels, have resulted in flash flooding in some areas of South-Eastern Bangladesh. Some families have sadly had their entire home swept away by the floods.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 1 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 48

    New information

    Children and families affected by the flash flooding have been provided with temporary shelter, as well as rice, lentils, oil, potatoes and other essential relief items. The water level is beginning to recede and our local partners are working hard to support affected families as best they can. The situation is worsened by the growing COVID-19 crisis in Bangladesh.

    Prayer

    Please pray for peace, comfort and safety for children, families and staff impacted by the recent flooding.

How is Compassion currently operating in Bangladesh?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most partner centres have resumed activities for children and youths in small groups in outdoor courtyards.

    For centres that remain closed to group activities, staff members maintain regular contact with children and caregivers through home visits and phone calls. Local partners have been able to send over 441,000 food packs and over 454,500 hygiene kits to beneficiary families. Additionally, they have provided medical support to over 18,500 people.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters are currently being delivered in Bangladesh, although delivery to and from your child may take a bit longer than normal. We encourage you to continue writing your child, as all children need words of hope and encouragement now more than ever before. Thank you for your ministry!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Bangladesh, although they are currently delayed. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Bangladesh who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Peace and protection over youth who have not been able to complete their yearly exams due to COVID-19.
  • Safety of the children and their families who are living in areas vulnerable to flooding.
  • Safety for children, families and local partners as the number of COVID-19 cases are increasing.
  • Healing and quick recovery from illness for Amnura.
  • Continued protection of youth as COVID-19 has led to the steady increase of child marriages.
  • Wisdom for Bangladesh’s leaders through their decision-making process.
  • Healing and peace for Tirza’s mother.
  • Peace and comfort for Monalisa and her family as they emotionally process a traumatic event.
  • Healing for Porimol’s son.
The Fresh Relief of Safe Water

The Fresh Relief of Safe Water

In the northern villages of Bangladesh, the communal pond is a favourite for locals who use its waters to wash clothes, water rice fields and bathe cattle. And for teens such as 15-year-old Basudeb, it’s the only spot to take a dip with friends to find relief from the roasting heat. But since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and social distancing became essential, accessing the once popular communal pond proved to be risky.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some child development centres in Bangladesh remain temporarily closed to group activities. Local partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Bangladesh

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 9 visit the Compassion centre for five to six hours a day every weekday and eight hours on Saturdays.
  • Children aged 9 and older attend the centre for four hours each weekday and eight hours on Saturdays.
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Compassion Program Activities in Bangladesh

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Compassion assisted children in Bangladesh typically attend program activities at their local child development centre before school and occasionally on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Bangladesh.

8:00am – A time for songs, games and introductions.

10:30am – Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am – Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm – Lunch and social time. Children generally receive a meal five days a week. The meals typically consist of rice and lentils with vegetables, fish, eggs, chicken or potatoes.

1:00pm – Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene lessons.

2:00pm – Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, such as singing, dance, drawing and drama. Children play outdoor games such as football, cricket and volleyball. Parents of Compassion assisted children meet once a month to learn a variety of topics.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Bangladesh

39%

of people lack access to improved sanitation

26%

of people over 15 cannot read or write

Formerly East Pakistan, Bangladesh was born out of conflict in the region and founded in its modern form in 1971.

A predominantly Muslim nation, it’s one of the world’s most densely populated countries, with more than 160 million people living in a land area roughly two-thirds the size of Victoria. Most of the land is low-lying delta and is vulnerable to flooding. Bangladesh is also regularly affected by tropical storms and heavy monsoonal rain that contributes to these flood events.

Most of the population relies on farming to make a living, with agriculture accounting for almost half of the country’s economy. Major crops include rice, jute and tea. Farming is growing increasingly difficult as rising seas destroy farmland in low-lying areas, inundating and salting the land and making it unfit for crops.

In recent years, urban areas—especially Dhaka, the capital—have experienced a population surge as many rural communities have found life increasingly difficult in their hometowns.

This has led to the growth of urban slums around major cities, as families come looking for safer ground on which to build a home and the prospect of work to build a life. But in these slums, children are more vulnerable to malnutrition, child labour, child marriage, violence, abuse, poor sanitation and pollution.

Despite a government focus on education and healthcare in recent years, the poorest families struggle to get access to the classroom or to a doctor. Around 15 per cent of the population lives in extreme poverty (less than US$1.90 per day) and around 85 per cent live on less than US$5.50 per day.

Yet local partners are at work, serving the children of their communities and sharing a hope more powerful than poverty.

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