Bangladeshi Childrens Fund
Half of the 57 million children in Bangladesh live below the international poverty line[1]. They often lack access to basic rights such as quality healthcare, education and food. The situation is exacerbated during the rainy season when whole communities can be cut off by huge floods, leaving them without access to even basic healthcare and nutrition.
In Bangladesh, crop production, predominantly rice, is characterized by fluctuations in yield that are tied to climatic conditions. Recurrent natural disasters such as floods and cyclones have affected rice production and the livelihoods of both urban and rural populations. Food security and access of the poor to a diverse and balanced diet remains a challenge. Global food price hikes have dealt a new blow to those who are already nutritionally insecure in Bangladesh.
As a result the prevalence of malnutrition in Bangladesh is among the highest in the world. Malnutrition is the most common in the poorest communities and in households of low educational status. Sylhet in the north east of Bangladesh has the highest rate of children suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth. In 2012 at least 44.6 percent of children below the age of five in Sylhet had stunted growth, while 38.5 percent were underweight[2]. Malnutrition leaves children vulnerable to disease, stunted growth and intellectual impairment, and is an underlying cause of child death.
Disabled children and their families are particularly vulnerable as specialist support is extremely limited. Family members may stay at home to provide care rather than going to work or school, driving the family further into poverty.
The main immediate causes of disability among children are related to inadequate and/or inaccessible health care, poor nutrition, inadequate water and sanitation, and accidents[3]. A 2014 study by UNICEF Bangladesh found that children with disabilities are the least likely to receive healthcare or go to school. They are among the most vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. Children living in poverty are among the least likely to attend their local school or clinic but those who live in poverty and also have a disability are even less likely to do so. Gender is a key factor, as girls with disabilities are less likely than boys to receive food and care.
What Deen Relief is doing
Inspired by his heritage and own experience of suffering a physically debilitating illness, Deen Relief founder Shabek Ali travels to Sylhet in North East Bangladesh twice a year to hand deliver vital aid to vulnerable families. Since 2015 Shabek and his brother Rashid have handed out packages of basic but nutritious food to children and adults who have been identified to be the most vulnerable and most in need of aid.
In 2015 £12,500 was raised for this cause, and in 2016 £11,000 was raised. We aim to raise £50,000 in 2017.
Identifying the most vulnerable children to help is a challenge in Bangladesh where over two thirds of children under five are not on a birth register (UNICEF, 2011). Disabled children are even less likely to be registered. So Deen Relief uses a team of local staff from Sylhet to identify disabled and poor vulnerable children to receive our food packages. It is important that we obtain all regulatory permissions from the local Chairman to distribute aid.
We purchase food in the city and transport it many miles by road and boat to the families. We expect that each package should be able to feed a small family for a month.
A typical food package consists of:

50kg rice
5kg chickpeas
5kg lentils
5 litres cooking oil
How you can Help
A donation of just £20 will provide one food package as above. We expect this to be able to feed a small family for a month (at current food prices).

90% of the funds donated Deen Relief is used directly to provide aid to poor, vulnerable and disabled people locally and globally. Deen Relief provides aid directly to those in need or through close partners who provide direct support, so you can see exactly where your donation is helping others.

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[1] UNICEF Report 2009
[2] World Food Programme Report ‘Undernutrition Maps of Bangladesh’ 2012
[3] UNICEF Bangladesh Situation Analysis on Children with Disabilities in Bangladesh 2014