Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Where we are

  Women who climbed their way out of poverty are now proudly able to feed their families and start their own businesses. Photo : UNDP Bangladesh

Bangladesh has made commendable progress in respect of eradication of poverty and hunger. It has sustained a GDP growth rate in excess of six percent in recent years that has played a positive role in eradicating poverty. The robust growth has been accompanied by corresponding improvements in several social indicators such as increased life expectancy and lower fertility rate despite having one of the world’s highest population densities.

The inclusive growth has resulted in impressive poverty reduction from 56.7 percent in 1991-92 to 31.5 percent in 2010; the rate of reduction being faster in the present decade than the earlier ones. The latest HIES 2010 data show that the incidence of poverty has declined at an annual rate of 2.47 percent in Bangladesh during 1992-2010 against the MDG target of 2.12 percent. Bangladesh has already met one of the indicators of target 1 by bringing down the poverty gap ratio to 6.5 against 2015 target of 8.0.

The estimated figures suggest that the MDG target of halving the population living below the poverty line (from 56.7 percent to 29.0 percent) has already been achieved in 2012. Unemployment as well as underemployment is especially dominant among the young people between 15 to 24 years of age. This age group comprises nearly nine percent of the country’s population and 23 percent of the labour force.

Moreover, while Bangladesh has demonstrated its capacity for achieving the goal of poverty reduction within the target timeframe, attaining food security and nutritional wellbeing still remains a challenge. The challenges with regard to reducing income inequality and the low economic participation of women also remain as major concerns. 

UNDP's work in Bangladesh

Through an automated application process, qualified young men and women are being better matched to appropriate jobs as migrant workers. Photo: UNDP Bangladesh
Migrant workers get a ticket to a better life

Ashikur Rahman (36) dreamed of going to abroad to work, but that dream ended badly when just over 4 years ago, he along with a friendmore 

Shyamola Begum is representative of a broader Bangladeshi reality, where economic empowerment has often led to a greater voice for women in the family and the public sphere. Photo: Kawser Ahmed / UNDP Bangladesh
Women take the lead in fighting poverty

Shyamola Begum, 43, knows why she lost her husband. Under the pressures of crippling poverty, with too many mouths to feed, he left their one roommore 


Goal, targets and indicators (as revised)

Base year


Current status (source)

Target by 2015

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger                                                                                                      

Target 1.A:  Halve between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people below poverty line

1.1: Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day, (%)




(WB[1], 2010)


1.1a: Proportion of population below national upper poverty line (2,122 kcal), (%)




(HIES 2010)


1.2: Poverty gap ratio, (%)




 (HIES 2010)


1.3: Share of poorest quintile in national consumption, (%)




(HIES 2010)


1.3a: Share of poorest quintile in national income, (%)




(HIES 2010)


Target 1.B:  Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.

1.4: Growth rate of GDP per person employed, (%)





(WB 2010)


1.5: Employment to population ratio (15+), (%)



(LFS 2010)

for all

1.6: Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day




(ILO 2005)


1.7: Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment




(ILO 2005)


Target 1.C: Halve between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

1.8: Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age (6-59 months), (%)



(BDHS 2011)


1.9: Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption (2,122 kcal), (%)



(HIES 2005[2])


1.9a: Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption (1805 kcal),  (%)



(HIES 2005)2


[1] Though the MDG indicators are $1 (PPP), WB data are prepared based on $1.25 (PPP). Throughout the report, whenever WB data are shown for MDG indicators of $1 (PPP), it refers to $1.25 (PPP). 

[2] HIES 2010 does not measure poverty using Direct Calorie Intake (DCI) method.

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