A large number of people in Bangladesh continue to live in extreme poverty or are at risk of falling into extreme poverty. Extremely poor people face significant challenges connecting to mainstream growth opportunities. Economic growth can reduce extreme poverty in Bangladesh over the coming decade. However, the link between growth and poverty reduction is likely to weaken as the economy struggles to create new jobs for millions of people entering the job market every year, and growth in rural wages slows down. Therefore, a growing proportion of extremely poor people are going to face an uphill struggle to connect to broader economic growth processes and risk being left behind, without livelihood options and access to essential services such as health and education. According to HIES 2016, Bangladesh is still home to about 36 million poor and 18 million extremely poor people. In this context, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has initiated a new programme titled “Pathways to Prosperity for Extremely Poor People (PPEPP)” with joint funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), now it is name as Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the European Union (EU). The programme is going to support 500,000 extremely poor people (primarily targeting women) to connect to mainstream economic growth and jobs in two phases. It is also going to address the specific needs of excluded people, such as people with disabilities, ethnic, elders. Besides, it will also build the national systems that are needed to support public and private investment in extreme poverty programmes and basic services like health and social protection.
The programme targets the regions where the prevalence of extreme poverty is high and decline over the last decade have been slower than in other areas. In phase 1, it is covering 263 Unions of 15 poverty prone districts of Bangladesh. These are North-west: the riverine chars and districts along the banks of the Teesta and the Brahmaputra rivers; southwest coastal belt: that face periodic cyclones, tidal surge, saltwater intrusion, and chronic water-logging; and haor region in the northeast: that has a specific ecosystem, presenting a minimal range of livelihood options as it remains underwater for nearly six months every year. Besides, certain extreme poverty-prone pockets will get support under innovation programmes.
The programme is going to deliver the following indicative results by the end of Phase 1:
a.Up to 1 million extremely poor people (250,000 households) exit extreme poverty and make significant progress along a pathway towards prosperity;
b.357,000 women and children have better nutrition, and women of childbearing age and adolescent girls benefitted from a package of nutrition interventions;
c.125,000 women experience a significant change in their social status and level of empowerment within the household and the community;
d.Increased resilience to climate change and other shocks for 1 million extremely poor people.
This programme extends a livelihood graduation model that has taken millions of people out of extreme poverty and has spread around the world, adds fresh features to make it even more effective, and ensures sustained hereafter PPEPP eventual exit. The theory of change has built on this adjustment- It shifts from 'graduation' to pathways out of poverty, which will support more sustained income and human development gains, reduce vulnerability to shocks, and enable households to access a steady upward trajectory.
To attain the ultimate goal of the project several interventions are going to place in the field under three main components: livelihood, nutrition and community mobilization along with three cross cutting components: gender equality, disability inclusion and disaster &climate change.