Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh
Map of Bangladesh

November 5, 2017


  • After local armed groups launched violent attacks on military personnel in neighboring Burma on August 25, the security forces implemented a series of operations in Rakhine state, home to the majority of Rohingya Muslims in the country. The ensuing violence has forced more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees to flee to southeastern Bangladesh, joining more than 200,000 Rohingya living in the country prior to August 2017, according to the UN. Most of these refugees currently reside in temporary settlements near Cox’s Bazar, where they suffer from high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • More than 31 percent of Bangladeshis live below the national poverty line, according the UN World Food Program (WFP). Frequent natural disasters—including floods and cyclones—exacerbate issues caused by the high national poverty rate. In addition to natural disasters, the most socially vulnerable Bangladeshis have historically lacked access to health and hygiene services. These factors, along with relatively high domestic prices and volatile international prices for rice—the staple food crop—heighten food insecurity, particularly among the rural poor. 
  • According to WFP, stunting affects 36 percent of children under 5. From 2012-2016, 14 percent of children under 5 were moderately or acutely malnourished, according to the Global Hunger Index.  Additionally, 11 million people suffer from acute hunger.
  • In recent years, Bangladesh has achieved significant development gains, including sustained economic growth, improved gender parity in education, and reduced child and maternal mortality. Despite this progress, 40 million people—approximately one-quarter of the population—remain food insecure. 


  • In Bangladesh, USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with CARE International, Helen Keller International and World Vision to implement multi-year development programs designed to promote agriculture, livelihoods, maternal and child health, climate change adaptation, women’s empowerment, and disaster risk reduction and community resilience in multiple regions throughout the country. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, FFP contributed more than $43 million to these non-governmental organization (NGO) partners in support of their programs.

  • FFP also supports WFP’s emergency response to the Rohingya influx in Cox’s Bazar. In FY 2017, FFP contributed $7 million to WFP to provide food vouchers, cash transfers for food and in-kind food aid to Burmese nationals and host communities in Cox’s Bazar, as well as logistics support to enhance the scale-up of activities and coordination among humanitarian actors. Additionally, CARE International diverted some of its FFP-contributed development funding to augment the emergency response efforts in and around Cox’s Bazar. The funding supported the provision of oil and pulses to approximately 24,000 beneficiaries, primarily consisting of women-headed households and pregnant and lactating women.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2017 $50.4 million 77,231 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $40.7 million 90,020 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $37.9million 75,090 MT

Note: MT: Metric Ton; Food Security Situation information provided by CARE and U.N. World Food Program (WFP). 

* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 

Country Specific Information

Related Resources


Last updated: December 01, 2017

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