Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh
Map of Bangladesh

February 7, 2018


  • Attacks by armed actors on Burmese security posts in August 2017 and subsequent military operations in in Rakhine state, home to the majority of Rohingya Muslims in the country, have caused a humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh. The violence in Burma has forced approximately 688,000 Rohingya refugees to flee to southeastern Bangladesh, joining more than 212,000 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 to the UN World Food Program (WFP). Recurring natural disasters, including floods and cyclones, exacerbate issues caused by the high national poverty rate. In addition, the most 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.
  • Undernourishment has dropped by half in the last two decades, however approximately 26 million people remain undernourished. According to WFP, stunting—or chronic malnutrition—affects 36 percent of children under 5 and 40 million people, approximately one-quarter of the population, remain food insecure.


  • USAID's Office of Food for Peace (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 $15 million to date to these non-governmental organization partners in support of their programs.
  • In FY 2018, FFP contributed $7.6 million to the UN Children’s Fund. The award includes ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat an estimated 69,000 children younger than 5 suffering from severe acute malnutrition, support for community based management of acute malnutrition activities, including infant malnutrition treatment and breastfeeding activities. In addition, FFP supports a mix of complementary services, such as capacity building and nutrition-sector coordination support.
  • Additionally, FFP contributed $18.4 million to WFP in FY 2018 to provide in-kind food aid and food vouchers to Rohingya refugees, as well as cash-based livelihoods support to host communities. WFP assistance in Cox’s Bazar includes a nutritional component through its blanket supplementary feeding program (BSFP), where children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women receive specialized foods to prevent and treat acute malnutrition. WFP co-chairs the Food Security Cluster for the refugee response in Cox’s Bazar, and FFP’s contribution includes coordination support for this effort as well as for the logistics sector to enhance the scale-up of humanitarian activities.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $41.4 million 58,307 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $50.3 million 77,111 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $40.7 million 90,020 MT

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

Country Specific Information

Related Resources


Last updated: March 13, 2018

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