Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh

March 3, 2019


  • Attacks by armed actors on Burmese security posts in August 2017 and subsequent military operations in Burma’s Rakhine state, home to the majority of Rohingya, have caused a major humanitarian crisis in neighboring Bangladesh. The violence in Burma has forced nearly 739,000 people—mostly Rohingya refugees—to flee into southeastern Bangladesh, joining more than 212,000 Rohingya living in the country prior to August 2017, the UN reports.
  • Most of the refugees live in 34 extremely congested settlements in Cox’s Bazar District, where they remain completely reliant on food assistance to meet their basic needs. The influx has nearly tripled the population of Teknaf and Ukhiya upazilas in Cox’s Bazar District, currently hosting the highest concentration of refugees in the world. Host communities in the area are highly vulnerable, and also face food insecurity and limited livelihood opportunities. 
  • While levels of extreme poverty are in decline, approximately 31 percent of Bangladeshis still live below the national poverty line, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP). Approximately 25 percent of the population in Bangladesh remains food insecure and 36 percent of children younger than 5 years of age suffer from stunting, a common measure of chronic malnutrition, WFP reports.


  • In FY 2019, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) contributed nearly $46 million for emergency food assistance for vulnerable communities in Cox’s Bazar District. In FY 2018, FFP contributed more than $101 million to WFP to provide in-kind food aid and food vouchers to Rohingya refugees, as well as cash-based income-generating activities to host communities in Cox’s Bazar. WFP programming also includes disaster risk reduction activities to prepare for the monsoon season.
  • FFP supports both WFP and the UN Children’s Fund to implement nutrition activities, where children under 5 years of age and pregnant and lactating women receive specialized foods to prevent and treat acute malnutrition. FFP’s emergency contributions also include coordination support for the food security, nutrition and logistics sectors to enhance the scale-up of humanitarian activities and to build the capacity of implementing partners. 
  • FFP partners with CARE International, Helen Keller International and World Vision to implement multi-year development programs to promote agriculture, livelihoods, maternal and child health, women’s empowerment and disaster risk reduction in multiple regions throughout the country. In FY 2018, FFP contributed more than $44 million to these non-governmental organizations in support of these efforts.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

Fiscal Year U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2019 $45.5 million ---
Fiscal Year 2018 $150.6 million 76,858
Fiscal Year 2017 $55.4 million 77,231

Country Specific Information

Related Resources


Last updated: March 04, 2019

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