Bangladesh is a small country situated in southern Asia, bordering India and Burma. It is former British colony, which gained independence in 1971.
The country has the largest population density in the world on the sq. km. (1,023 inhabitants /km²). On the territory with the same area as the former Czechoslovakia live an incredible number of 170 million inhabitants - that is one third of the population of the European Union!
Although Bangladesh is one of the countries that are gradually succeeding in reducing extreme poverty and increasing economic growth, it faces constantly a variety of problems: high population density, natural disasters, political instability, high infant mortality, poor infrastructure, corruption, poor education and health care, rapid urbanization, or for example, the lack of electrification of the country. Economically, Bangladesh still belongs to the group of the least developed countries of the world.
40% of the population still live in extreme poverty with income of less than $ 25/day.
Extreme poverty is related to the very high illiteracy - almost half of the adults can't read and write. The big problem is also a high percentage of children who do not complete even primary education. More than 2.4 million children aged 6-10 years from Bangladeshi slums do not have access to primary education. Those are the disadvantaged children whose families live in conditions of extreme poverty. At the same time, the number of working children in Bangladesh is one of the highest in the world: nearly 7 million children aged 5 to 14 years have to work in order to help their families to survive. Most of these children do not attend school.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries as for the impact of climate change. More than 6 million people live in very densely populated river deltas of the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra at the altitude less than 1, 00 m. Increasing level of the ocean and still more intense monsoon rainfalls are causing more and more damage to property and lives.
Bangladesh faces regularly devastating floods: the reason is the great Himalayan Rivers which could be found there in the largest River Delta in the world and that overflow their banks repeatedly, and also the "flatness" of Bangladesh. The season of flooding is devastating and dangerous at the same time for many Bengalis and, however, it is also necessary and useful, because the water is in this primarily agricultural country the source of moisture for the fertile fields and mud-and life.
Even though Bangladesh is known as the land of water with an abundance of water sources and waterways that outnumber the land, there is a lack of safe drinking water – water is often contaminated and contains harmful substances as arsenic and excessive amounts of iron or salt.
Although the land in Bangladesh is very fertile and thanks to its tropical climate it is possible to harvest 3-4 times a year, Bangladesh is not able to ensure a separate and independent food production and cannot cope without international food aid.
Bangladesh is the second largest cloth producer in the world, after China.
The Bengalis are very hardworking people who do not avoid work. They have lack in education, however. As an unqualified workforce they have to work for a salary, which is not enough to ensure their necessity of life (food and housing).