Overview of Australia’s aid program to Bangladesh

How we are helping

2014/15 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$70.1 million

2015/16 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$42.1 million

2015/16 Total Australian ODA Estimate
$60.9 million

DFAT will manage an estimated $42.1 million in bilateral funding to Bangladesh in 2015-16. Total Australian Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Bangladesh in 2015-16 will be an estimated $60.9 million.

Australian ODA will support initiatives to enable Bangladesh to meet its development objectives with a particular focus on basic health, education, and building resilience amongst the poorest and most marginalised communities. 

The website will be updated to reflect specific priorities following discussions with our partners. These priorities will be detailed further in a new Aid Investment Plan which will be finalised by 30 September 2015.

Further information on current investments in Bangladesh can be found below.

Increased access to improved education services

Australia is funding the Government of Bangladesh’s Primary Education Development Program, which aims to build an efficient, inclusive, and equitable national primary education system. Australia works with the Government and other donors to strengthen the quality of education and through BRAC (one of the world’s largest NGOs) is also ensuring more girls and boys from extremely poor families get the opportunity to go to school. Our assistance is helping to develop a productive and inclusive workforce in Bangladesh that can maintain the country’s strong record of economic growth.

Education assistance in Bangladesh

Fewer women and men living in extreme poverty and vulnerable to economic and natural shocks

Australia is building the resilience of Bangladeshis, especially women and girls, through a range of partnerships. Our work with BRAC, the United Kingdom and the World Food Programme is providing humanitarian and economic empowerment programs directly to Bangladesh’s poor, including in the particularly vulnerable areas of the country. This assistance can take the form of cash transfers, school feeding, access to free health care and training in ways to manage income generating assets (such as livestock). The programs provide a resourcing buffer that helps people meet their basic needs and cope with commonly occurring economic and natural shocks. BRAC’s program is gaining international recognition as an effective means to increase poor people’s income earning capacity, and is being replicated by BRAC and other organisations around the world. Australia is also working with the Government of Bangladesh and the United Kingdom to improve the efficiency of the Government’s national social protection programs.

Resilience to poverty in Bangladesh


Our results

Increased access to improved education

Results in the education program show that working through partnerships with Government and other development partners can produce large scale change. Achievements in the education program linked directly to Australia’s funding, policy advocacy and technical advice have included:

In 2013-14

  • Delivery of over one million primary text books country-wide on time with a streamlined government tendering process
  • Primary education services to over 20 million Bangladeshi children through Government schools, and to over one million children from extremely poor families through BRAC-supported pre-primary or primary schools
  • Completion of the second National Student Assessment, which is providing new information to Government about the quality of teaching
  • Accreditation for a new teaching diploma through Dhaka University, with implementation in 29 primary teacher training institutes in 2013, expanding to 36 in 2014.

Australia also provided 131 Australia Awards, comprising around 72 long-term and 59 short-term awards to Bangladesh for studies in priority areas of social and economic policy.

Resilience to poverty

In 2013-14

Australia provided direct support to extremely poor families and worked with partners to strengthen national social welfare policies. Our partnerships with BRAC and the United Kingdom helped 107,000 extremely poor women and their families by providing them with access to cash transfers, productive assets and training. Australia’s nutrition and food security support through the World Food Programme provided a safety net to more than 700 vulnerable families in Cox’s Bazar district. A draft social security policy developed by the Government of Bangladesh drew from economic analysis funded by Australia, while a study tour to South Africa, led by Australia, further built awareness of the economic benefits of strong social welfare systems among senior Bangladeshi officials.

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Leaving No One Behind - Social Protection - Ensuring Economic Growth is Sustainable and Inclusive

Two smiling women in office look through printed papers
Volunteer Ngatho Mugo researches maternal and child health at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health (credit: DFAT).
Child walking through alley carrying books on his shoulder
Child prepares to leave for primary school (credit: DFAT).