UN-Habitat has been facilitating national government, city authorities and people in Bangladesh to reduce inequality, promote living standards of urban poor communities to achieve SDGs and implementing New Urban Agenda. UN-Habitat’s technical assistance in Bangladesh includes climate change interventions, capacity building in urban planning and management, slum upgrading and urban poverty reduction, promoting urban public spaces and city governance, supporting humanitarian actions mainly settlement planning under refugee response programme. Partnerships are with universities, professional associations, government departments such as Bangladesh Institute of planners, Urban Development Directorate organizing advocacy and knowledge sharing initiatives such as Bangladesh Urban Thinkers Campus.


Bangladesh has a fast growing and rapidly urbanizing population and it is expected that current urban population of 62 million will be doubled by 2035. Country is experiencing increasing climate migrants to Dhaka and to other big cities. This trend will have a remarkable positive impact in cities in terms of economic contribution if cities are planned and managed.

Urban poverty remains major challenge in many cities leading increasing slum and underserved settlements, increasing a wide range of substandard, overcrowded and unhealthy housing conditions in many large cities. Road traffic congestion in cities continues to remain a major challenge resulting in enormous socioeconomic losses.

Bangladesh is sheltering more than a million Myanmar refugees in camps in Cox’s Bazaar which is a major humanitarian crisis in the recent past. This has changed entire landscape of the Cox’s Bazar district in terms environment, social and economic conditions. Settlement planning in the refugee camps as well as updating territorial plans are key priority areas to address the needs. 

Urban numbers
Although urban poverty tends to decline over the last five years it remains high as 18.9 percent.
Projected housing deficit in urban areas by 2030 is 8.5 million.
Three metropolitan areas, Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna account for about 54% of the total urban population of the country.

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

Human rights principles are promoted through advocacy and knowledge sharing activities and rights-based principles in people’s process approach are used in the field-based interventions.

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In the urban poverty reduction initiatives, gender empowerment focusing gender representation in CDCs and other community organizations promoted.

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UN Habitat maximized its impact on youth employment by adopting implementation through community-based interventions which include trainings and skill development for youth. Engagement of youth in the formation of primary community groups in urban poverty reduction initiatives has been part of the modalities in projects. 

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Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

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Donors and partners

In Bangladesh, the Urban Development Directorate under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works is the Government focal Ministry to UN-Habitat. Urban Development Directorate hosts the UN-Habitat Office in Bangladesh. UN-Habitat has been a is a member of the United Nations Country Team and active member of hosing cluster in the Bangladesh Urban Forum., UN-Habitat in Bangladesh has closely interacting with local authorities and academia and NGOs.


Laxman Perera
Human Settlements Officer
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

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