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 repeatedly cause flooding and have claimed countless lives over the last few decades. Today, special shelters offer the people greater safety when floods hit, but they still 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 even 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). Over the last few decades, the country has made remarkable progress and its economy is developing at a dynamic rate. The World Bank estimates that Bangladesh will graduate from the UN’s Least Developed Countries list in 2026 if its economic development continues unchanged.

German development cooperation with Bangladesh

The flags of Germany and Bangladesh

Bangladesh and Germany enjoy friendly relations. Germany is the second biggest market after the US for apparel and textile exports from Bangladesh. As a long-standing and reliable partner in development cooperation, Germany is held in high regard in Bangladesh.

Having contributed around 3.2 billion euros in development support to date, Germany is an important bilateral donor for Bangladesh. The German government pledged 275.1 million euros for development cooperation to Bangladesh for the years 2021 and 2022. And it made an additional commitment of 74 million euros for 2021.

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

  • Climate and energy, just transition | Areas of intervention: renewable energy and energy efficiency; sustainable urban development
  • Sustainable economic development, training and employment | Areas of intervention: technical and vocational education and training; socially and environmentally sound supply chains, trade and sustainable infrastructure
  • Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth | Area of intervention: biodiversity
Solar system powering a groundwater pump

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” Using energy more efficiently and expanding renewable energies Internal link

Frequent power cuts and the country’s over-stretched and out-dated infrastructure are putting a brake on its economic development. At the same time, however, Bangladesh has made a commitment under the Paris Agreement to curb its carbon emissions. Germany is supporting Bangladesh in its efforts to reform the energy sector and expand the use of renewable energies.

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” Improving working conditions and training opportunities Internal link

The Bangladesh government wants to create job opportunities for its growing population and push forward the training of skilled workers. German development cooperation activities here build on existing measures to train and upskill workers in the textile sector and are helping to develop new vocational training opportunities in the field of renewable energies.

Ship mooring in the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forests on earth in Bangladesh

Core area “Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth” Protecting mangrove forests and maritime habitats Internal link

Germany is assisting Bangladesh in its efforts to conserve the offshore marine protected area “Swatch of No Ground” and protect mangrove forests. Mangrove forests form a highly specialised coastal ecosystem at the meeting point of land and sea. The forests play an important role in protecting the climate and biodiversity and achieving food security.

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

As at: 14/02/2023