Last Updated: 19/01/2021

The COVID-19 related death toll in Bangladesh passed 7,500 by Jan. 1, 2021. A recent spike in cases has increased concerns over a possible second wave of COVID-19 during winter. Many restrictions, including curfews, have been lifted by the government, but face masks and social distancing continue to be required in public areas. The country is also continuing to deal with the long-term effects of its worst flood in a decade, which left half a million people homeless. Authorities reported thousands of cases of waterborne diseases, including diarrhea and skin diseases, in the flooded coastal region. Half of the population is now food insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to enough safe and nutritious food to live a healthy life.

Most Compassion centers have resumed activities for children and youths in small groups in outdoor courtyards. Where that is not possible, staff members maintain regular contact with children and caregivers through home visits and phone calls. Compassion Bangladesh staff and local partners have been able to send about 268,000 food packs and 269,000 hygiene kits to beneficiary families. Additionally, they have provided medical support to more than 5,000 people. They report that many families have no source of income, so they are providing necessary funds to buy daily essentials.

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Bangladesh?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Bangladesh, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At most centers, activities have resumed and small group meetings are held outdoors. Elsewhere, staff members are creating virtual program activities and distributing at-home curriculum. They continue to call and check in on families and make home visits when possible. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute about 268,000 food packs and 269,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

The majority of letters are delayed in Bangladesh, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Bangladesh, although they are currently delayed. In some communities, staff members have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

Jenin says she will never forget the day she adopted her daughter Daina. How she held that helpless, precious child and whispered to her, “I will always take care of you.”

Fast forward 12 years, and Jenin’s commitment hasn’t wavered. This single, widowed mother works hard to provide for Daina, including enrolling her at the development center in their community. But Jenin’s health struggles had always made finding work hard, and when the pandemic struck, she found herself unable to provide.

With no relatives nearby, Jenin approached Subhas, the development center director. “I told him, as a mother I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m unable to provide enough food for my little girl,” says Jenin.

Subhas reassured her that she should feel no shame. He connected the family with Hanna, a partner social worker, who arranged for groceries to be delivered. Hanna also checks in on Jenin and Daina every other day, reassuring them that they were not alone.

"When I was physically powerless and mentally weak, the staff came to ensure that my Daina was taken care of,” says Janin. “My daughter’s well-being is dependent on them.”

How can I pray for Bangladesh?

Praise God for giving success to the child development partners, as they were able to deliver additional food relief to communities where malnutrition is on the rise

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