Context

Income poverty in Bangladesh has been reduced from 59% in 1991 to 31.5% in 2010 and extreme poverty reduced from 42.7% in 1991 to 17.6% in 2010, indicating that the country is on track in achieving MDG 1 of halving poverty. However, there are still around 25 million people living in abject poverty. Bangladesh aspires to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 – a target that is also drawing very broad international consensus in ongoing consultations to establish the forthcoming SDGs – but many, if not most, of the remaining poor in Bangladesh are caught in poverty traps, which will make further poverty reduction more challenging. Drawing on the encouraging poverty reduction experiences of the earlier UNDP assisted REOPA project implemented in partnership with Local Government Division, the next-generation SWAPNO project intends to assist extreme poor women representing vulnerable households to move out of poverty.