chapter  4
18 Pages

Social Protection Policies for the Urban Informal Sector in Bangladesh

Nazmunnessa Mahtab

Bangladesh has completed three decades of existence as an independent country, but poverty still dominates the development agenda. Although the population is concentrated largely in rural areas, high migration to urban areas has resulted in a huge urban informal sector. Up to the 1980s, poverty was largely associated with the rural areas of the country, but the dramatic increase in the urban population has led to a corresponding increase in the level of urban poverty. The appalling environmental conditions in the aftermath of natural disasters have increased the vulnerability, risk and deprivation of informal sector workers; it threatens urban health and wellbeing. The improvement of the health and living conditions of the millions of urban slum-dwellers around the main cities of Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, and Sylhet is a primary concern of the Government of Bangladesh for reducing poverty.