Peoples: 423 (88% unreached) All peoples
Answer to Prayer
Progress in the fight against poverty has been made. The thousands of NGOs operating contributed immeasurably to this. Bangladesh is now the furthest along of all South Asian nations toward meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals for 2015 (focused on poverty reduction, education, etc). Micro-credit has been the flagship strategy for this progress.
Challenge for Prayer
The cycle of poverty will perpetuate itself until fundamental changes occur. Pray for long-term, penetrating transformation in the following areas of desperate need:
a) The economy is sorely underdeveloped. Bangladesh has little infrastructure, very few natural resources, and therefore affords few ways of making an income. Most people work in agriculture or textiles for scandalously low wages. The majority of Bangladeshis live in gripping poverty, with a very small wealthy minority.
b) A solid social foundation for progress is lacking. Education levels are low (but improving), and overpopulation creates problems in a nation already wanting in land, resources and employment opportunities. Women have been the backbone of micro-credit success (80% of households participate in benefits from micro-credit), yet often suffer undignified and inequitable treatment.
c) A frightening vulnerability to changes in climate and economy. With such widespread poverty, a large proportion of income is spent on food. Significant rises in food prices have a devastating effect, but not as devastating as the effect of flooding from swollen rivers and monsoons. With alarming regularity, the nation is made to endure tragic loss of life and property.
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