Despite economic growth and significant social progress, in health and education, for example, Bangladesh is still plagued by political instability and corruption. Millions of people live in extreme poverty. Climate change is severely impacting the 150 million people living in the world's largest river delta. Floods and cyclones are on the rise, as is the resulting damage. The country has been host to almost a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar since 2017, most of them in camps around Cox's Bazar.
HEKS/EPER projects assist Dalits and Adivasis, who are social and ethnic minorities subjected to discrimination. HEKS/EPER helps them improve their food security and income and supports them in their dialogue with authorities and the majority population, as the channel through which to claim their rights to land, resources, education, health and social and political participation. When disasters result from natural hazards, HEKS/EPER also provides emergency aid and help with reconstruction and preventive measures. HEKS/EPER helps the Rohingya in the refugee camps by upgrading sanitation, securing access to drinking water and health centres, and improving food security. Peaceful dialogue is fostered between refugees and local people.
HEKS/EPER maintains 40 platforms for dialogue between minorities and authorities. Some 9000 Dalits and Adivasis obtained access to healthcare, education and social assistance in 2020. Altogether 15 000 Dalits and Adivasis were able to boost their income thanks to continuing training in agriculture and the market economy. A total of 1000 people secured land rights to about 100 hectares.
HEKS/EPER provided humanitarian aid for roughly 1.84 million people at the Rohingya refugee camp in the vicinity Cox's Bazar. In addition to the building of latrines, the provision of access to drinking water, the refurbishment of dwellings and health centres (including Covid courses), vegetable gardens and orchards were also created.