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Development assistance in Bangladesh

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Australia’s development partnership with Bangladesh

2023-24 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
$30.8 million
2023-24 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$116.2 million
2022-23 total Australian ODA [actual]
$115.7 million
2021-22 total Australian ODA [actual]
$125.4 million

Australia enjoys a strong development and trade relationship with Bangladesh and will continue to support Bangladesh through its recovery from COVID-19. As one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with a population of 165 million people, COVID-19 has intensified pre-existing humanitarian and economic challenges for Bangladesh. This includes in Cox’s Bazar where over 1.46 million people, including 919,000 Rohingya refugees displaced from Myanmar and 541,000 people in host communities, depend on humanitarian assistance. Bangladesh is also highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and natural disasters which could further exacerbate pressures caused by COVID-19.

Australia’s development program will support Bangladesh’s health security, stability, and economic recovery, placing a strong emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable, especially women and girls and people with disabilities. We will work in partnership with the Bangladesh Government and other donors in a targeted and flexible way; and maximise our impact by using all policy levers, including development, economic, diplomatic, trade and security capabilities, including in multilateral fora.

Pillar 1 – health security

We will continue to support Bangladesh’s health security through Australian NGOs, our regional Water for Women program, and global contributions to the World Health Organization, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In Cox’s Bazar District, Australia’s partnerships with UN agencies, Australian non-government organisations and BRAC, are meeting basic needs in nutrition, education, protection and hygiene services.

Australian development partners moved quickly to support Bangladesh’s emergency health response to COVID-19, providing medical equipment, training, hygiene and community awareness services; and emergency food and income to vulnerable people across Bangladesh.

Our humanitarian assistance for Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar provides inclusive life saving assistance, including COVID-19 treatment and prevention. We work with other development partners to moderate the effects of the pandemic on the most at risk – including women, children and people with a disability.

Further information on programs addressing health security in Bangladesh.

Pillar 2 – stability

Australia is partnering with Bangladesh to support greater social cohesion and address food security risks exacerbated by COVID-19. We will assist Bangladesh to reform the systems underpinning the National Social Security Strategy to enhance its systems, to ensure support reaches the most vulnerable. Through the World Food Programme, ACIAR, CSIRO and Australian NGOs we are supporting nutrition services and agricultural research partnerships.

We continue to support inclusive education and skills development through BRAC, the Underprivileged Children's Educational Program (UCEP), Australia Awards, and the Global Partnership for Education. In Cox’s Bazar District, Australia’s humanitarian assistance supports initiatives that build the resilience, social cohesion and self-reliance of both Rohingya and local communities. Australia will work with Bangladesh to support stability and economic growth in the Indian Ocean Region, including through the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).


Further information on programs addressing stability in Bangladesh.

Australia’s development efforts are set out in Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response.

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