People cross a river in Bangladesh via a narrow footbridge and by boat.

Bangladesh A dynamic country facing big challenges

Water shapes life in Bangladesh. The country's rivers, the Padma (Ganges), the Jamuna (Brahmaputra) and the Meghna, are essential to people's livelihoods. The abundant water and fertile soils of the country's plains, which lie only five metres above sea level on average, allow farmers to produce several harvests a year.

But the same water also poses great dangers. Monsoon rains, swollen rivers and cyclones coming from the Bay of Bengal regularly cause flooding and have cost countless lives over the last few decades. Today special shelters offer the people greater safety when floods hit, but they cannot prevent the destruction of infrastructure and the loss of harvests.

Straight to
Workers at the Zaber und Zubair Fabrics Ltd. textile company in Tongi, Bangladesh

In future, these weather-related phenomena are likely to become more extreme. That is why Bangladesh is working hard to gain international support for its efforts to adapt to climate change. In fact, Bangladesh has taken on the role of spokesperson for the countries that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Bangladesh is the most populous of the least developed countries (LDCs). With 1,265 inhabitants per square kilometre (2020) it is the most densely populated country in the world. Over the last few decades, the country has made remarkable progress and its economy is developing at a dynamic rate.

Bangladesh and Germany enjoy friendly relations. Germany is the second biggest market after the US for Bangladesh apparel and textile exports.

German development cooperation with Bangladesh

The flags of Germany and Bangladesh

As a long-standing and reliable partner in development cooperation, Germany is held in high regard in Bangladesh. Having contributed around three billion euros in development support to date, Germany is an important bilateral donor for the country.

The German government pledged a total of 267 million euros for development cooperation with Bangladesh for the period 2019 to 2020. And for 2021, it made a commitment of 74 million euros.

Cooperation focuses on the following core areas and areas of intervention:

  • Climate and energy, just transition
    Areas of intervention: “Sustainable urban development”, “Renewable energy” and “Energy efficiency”
  • Peaceful and inclusive societies
    Area of intervention: “Good governance”
  • Sustainable economic development, training and employment
    Initiative areas: “Sustainable supply chains” and “Green Button”´“
Solar system powering a groundwater pump

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” Ensuring an environ­mentally friendly but cost-effective power supply Internal link

Germany is supporting Bangladesh in its efforts to reform the energy sector. Particular goals are to improve the energy supply in rural areas that are not yet connected up to the national electricity grid and to promote renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. A further goal is sustainable urban development.

A man transporting jeans on a rikshaw

Core area “Peaceful and inclusive societies” Strengthening an independent judiciary Internal link

The human rights situation in Bangladesh is cause for concern. Violations of basic rights are not prosecuted systematically or effectively enough. Furthermore, Bangladeshi citizens are not yet sufficiently aware of their rights. Germany is supporting Bangladesh in its efforts to fully reform its justice system and its prisons.

Radisson Garments Ltd. textile factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Here textiles are produced according to the Green Button standards.

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Social and environmental standards Internal link

Germany is calling for Bangladesh's textile manufacturers to comply with social and environmental standards so that the work and safety conditions for their employees improve. To achieve this, the BMZ is helping Bangladesh to train state-approved health and safety inspectors and to ensure the safe disposal of industrial waste.

Current situation

Political situation
Parliamentary building in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Social situation
Street scene in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh
Economic situation
Workers at the Zaber und Zubair Fabrics Ltd. textile company in Tongi, Bangladesh
Environmental situation