The economy of Bangladesh has grown steadily and health and education services have improved in recent years but poverty remains widespread, especially in rural areas. There are more than 60 million children but a third are malnourished or underweight and half of them live below the poverty line.
The country’s social and economic issues have been compounded by natural disasters caused by flooding and monsoons. A lack of clean drinking water affects communities across the country, with many water sources contaminated by arsenic which carries associated health risks including serious illness and fatality
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Water: Islamic Help has concentrated on providing clean drinking water through hand pumps and deep water wells, which have brought major socio-economic and health benefits to hundreds of towns and villages.
Orphans and street children: Our orphan sponsorship programme has given hundreds of orphans and street children access to a stable living environment and educational opportunities which they might otherwise never have received. Using sport as a motivational tool, our cricket academy – set up in 2011 – has been supported by players from the national team and provides specialist coaching and training to street and underprivileged children.
As well as the sporting aspect, they receive lessons in English and Maths. The academy has steered many of them away from a life of disruption and crime and given them a chance to pursue sporting careers at the highest levels.