Almost 18 million people live in extreme poverty in Bangladesh. The impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods has been catastrophic. Research by BIGD and PPRC shows a 73% drop in income in households living in extreme poverty when measured in the first week of April 2020 compared to two months prior. The biggest challenge during COVID-19 is how to get relief to these people, who often live in hard-to-reach areas.
Jhorna Islam is somewhat of a local celebrity in Tongi, Duttapara. While there are many clothing shops in the area, the uniqueness of her designs stand out, and the quality of the cutting and material used is noticeably high.
Microfinance is the idea that individuals from low-income backgrounds are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services. This starts with what most of us take for granted - savings, insurance and credit facilities.
Bangladesh, the birthplace of microfinance and many other successful pro-poor strategies has been acknowledged as the model of development for many years. Once again, the country is recognised to have found the most effective solution to one of the most complex problems of the world - extreme poverty.
The capability to borrow money when needed, whether for short-term or long-term purposes, is a convenience valued by everyone. Access to credit is not only helpful for investing in enterprises, or managing crises, but it also provides the opportunity to access better standards of living.