Situated on the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh shares large borders with India and a small southern boundary with Myanmar. The Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers meet in Bangladesh to form the world’s largest delta. Extremely fertile, yet vulnerable to floods, and cyclones, this low-lying country supports a population of 159 million people. Over 40 per cent are children.
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Three-quarters of Bangladeshis live in rural areas. Families in rural Bangladesh rely primarily on agriculture and fishing for their daily income. Over half of these families live below the poverty line. In the face of frequent natural disasters and the growing threat of climate change, rural livelihoods are now more tenuous than ever.
Increasing rural poverty is causing many families to migrate to the urban centres. Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing mega-cities of the world. The pressures of rapid urbanization result in high land prices and the growth of large slums on illegal settlements.
Millennium Development Goals
Despite these difficulties, Bangladesh has made significant progress towards meeting the child-related Millennium Development Goals :