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Asia - Bangladesh - Cash for vulnerable families affected by coronavirus

The money families receive will be used to buy food and basic hygiene items during the coronavirus pandemic.

Densely populated Bangladesh faces many challenges, including rising sea levels and frequent cyclones. Rohingya refugees who live in camps face the effects of the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

Why CAFOD works in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has two million malnourished children, and the highest rate of underweight children in South Asia. 

Stigma and discrimination against women and the country's large disabled population worsen the levels of extreme poverty.

Bangladesh is also one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of climate change. Floods, droughts, and cyclones affect more than seven in every ten people. In May 2020, Cyclone Amphan struck Bangladesh, damaging homes, destroying fields used to grow crops, and submerging sources of fresh water. In May 2023, the country was again hit by a major cyclone, this time Cyclone Mocha. While thousands of people had been evacuated from their homes in advance, helping to avoid casualties, there were reports of some 3,000 shelters being damaged in refugee camps and extensive flooding and damage to properties across the country.

Over 700,000 Rohingya refugees live in makeshift shelters in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district. These refugees continue to depend on emergency aid just to survive day to day. New reports have emerged confirming cases of coronavirus in the camps, meaning that thousands of families are now at risk of catching the disease. Lack of access to clean water and hygiene supplies including soap mean that prevention measures are almost impossible to practice.

CAFOD in Bangladesh

  • CAFOD is working through Caritas Bangladesh to respond to the Rohingya Crisis in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar district.

  • CAFOD works with a disability expert, Action on Disability and Development (ADD) to bring disabled people together in groups to talk about the problems they are facing and to demand change.

  • We are working through a local Church organisation and other local experts to teach people farming skills to help their crops to thrive in a changing climate, and teaching trades like mechanics and tailoring so people aren’t solely reliant on farming in the unpredictable weather.

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