Bangladesh has made a remarkable progress in raising income, reducing poverty and improving human development indicators over the past three decades. As a result of a steady economic growth, poverty rate fell from 59 per cent in 1991 to an estimated 20.5 per cent in 2019. During the same period, extreme poverty dropped to an estimated 10.5 per cent from 43 per cent.
Despite this achievement, a large number of people continue to live in extreme poverty or are at the risk of falling into extreme poverty. In 2018, Bangladesh was still home to about 36 million poor and 18 million extreme poor people (BBS, 2018). Certain pockets are particularly vulnerable to extreme poverty, where poverty rate is higher than the national average. The Bangladesh government recognises the importance of tackling extreme poverty, and has given special emphasis on the issue in both Seventh and Eighth Five Year Plans for FY 2016-2020 and 2020-2025. The Eighth Five Year Plan puts emphasis on achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose number one goal is to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.