Why Bangladesh?

Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely populated countries, with half the population of the U.S. (about 170 million) living in a country about the size of the state of Illinois.

Poverty is deep and widespread. The population in Bangladesh is predominantly rural, with almost 80% of the population living in rural areas. Many people live in remote areas that lack services such as education, health clinics and adequate roads, particularly road links to markets. 

An estimated 36% of the population in rural areas lives below the poverty line. They suffer from persistent food insecurity, own no land and assets, are often uneducated and may also suffer serious illnesses or disabilities. Another 29 % of the rural population is considered moderately poor. Though they may own a small plot of land and some livestock and generally have enough to eat, their diets lack nutritional value. As a result of health problems or natural disasters, they are at risk of sliding deeper into poverty.

Women are among the poorest of the rural poor, especially when they are the sole heads of their households. They suffer from discrimination and have few earning opportunities, and their nutritional intake is often inadequate.

Children suffer the most with 40% of children severely malnourished and 25% of these children not living past the age of 5.  



We are currently serving as many extremely poor families as our resources allow. These families live in one of 1,600 villages in four districts in Bangladesh; Netrokona, Bogra, Kishoreganj and Chandpur.


Most of our target families fall into the poorest two of the four categories by which we classify the poor. The four categories are:

extreme hard core poor


families that have one simple meal daily and no economic assets

hard core poor


families that have two simple meals a day and very minimal economic assets

very poor


families who experience some food deficiency during the year

less poor


families have sufficient food by are unable to provide healthcare or education for their children.


Because of the number and intensity of their issues, many nonprofits in Bangladesh do not focus on poorest of the poor. This is the population we serve. Our approach to serve them with any number of programs we offer has proven to be effective and efficient in meeting the needs of each family individually.   


We have high standards when it comes to outcomes and evaluative processes. To date, 325,000 people have been permanently lifted out of poverty due to our efforts in Bangladesh. The goal is to reduce poverty by a minimum of 50% in any area we serve. This has been accomplished—and exceeded—in most of the areas served as shown in the chart below. A survey is done every three years to measure key indicators and document the progress of the families and the work of the organization.  

Extensive poverty reduction among families in our working areas has also had a tremendous impact on local economies through increased purchasing power of the poor, improved agriculture practices, reforestations, promotion of gender equality, education for the children and clean water, sanitation, and housing for the poor. We also have had opportunities to improve the regions our families live in through building flood protection levees, drainage canals, roads and bridges, and fish ponds.



                   % of Population by District

Poverty has been reduced in all nine of PEP's work areas, between 25% and 85% in each are with four areas experiencing more than 50% reduction.




43,000 families have received emergency food assistance

HEALTH - Social Worker.JPG


42,396 children and pregnant or lactating mothers have received vitamins critical to their health

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91,901 children have been educated through our two year child development centers

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25,644 women took part in savings and micro-credit programs


Meet Barsha. She is 13. Her family is extremely poor. They live in a remote area of rural Bangladesh.  

She was afraid that her family would make arrangements for her to marry because they cannot afford to feed her and her three siblings. This happened to another young girl in the village. The difference?  Barsha’s family is one of the families PSDI is helping to lift themselves out of poverty. They are making progress on their plan and are keeping their family intact. Barsha is grateful. Won’t you help us help a family like Barsha’s? Give today. http://bit.ly/2u0IcMr

Barsha is a success story!


Meet Sumon. He is 15. He is a good student, juggling his studies with his duties at home in rural Bangladesh.

But his father is sick and the family cannot afford the medical care he needs. Sumon was facing a decision to work as a day laborer in his village instead of continuing his studies. Many young men in Bangladesh are forced to make this decision. But Sumon’s family is one of our families. We are teaching his mother how to embroider, giving her the ability to earn an income for her family and help pay for her husband’s medical care. There is hope for Sumon’s continued education and his future. Sumon’s family is grateful.  Help us help a poor family in Bangladesh. http://bit.ly/2u0IcMr

Sumon is a success story!


Meet Hridi. She is only 7. Being a seven year old in a remote village in rural Bangladesh is not all fun and games. 

There are chores – and there are younger brothers to care for. Hridi has been attending a PSDI child development center for the past two years and has hopes of going to a government school next year.  She wants to be a teacher. Thanks to PSDI’s support, Hridi’s future is bright. Her family continues to thrive since they sat down with one of our social workers and developed their plan to lift themselves out of poverty. Share your blessings with Hridi’s family. Give today. http://bit.ly/2u0IcMr

Hridi is a success story!