Project profile — Livelihood Support and Women's Empowerment in Cox's Bazar


2019-03-20 - 2023-03-31
Global Affairs Canada
OGM Indo-Pacific

Country / region 

• Bangladesh (100.00%)


• Secondary Education: Vocational training (11330) (15.00%)
• Other Social Infrastructure And Services: Employment policy and administrative management (16020) (70.00%)
• Other Multisector: Multisector education/training (43081) (15.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (significant objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Participatory development and good governance (not targeted)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (significant objective)
• Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• Nutrition (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)


This project provides comprehensive livelihood support for communities, particularly women, girls and young adolescents, living in the host communities affected by the influx of over 740,000 displaced Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar since August 2017. Cox’s Bazar is one of Bangladesh’s poorest and most vulnerable districts, with the poverty rate well above the national average. Even before the influx, 33% of the host community population lived below the poverty line and 17% below the extreme poverty line. The arrival of the refugees has increased the supply of labour in the affected areas, driving down wages and increasing competition in the labour market, with a particular impact on the poorest host community households including those whose primary source of income is day labour. The influx has also put immense pressure on the availability and delivery of essential health services which were already scarce and overstretched. Women and girls, and women-headed households, are particularly vulnerable in this situation, including to gender-based violence which is likely to increase in times of economic stress. The project is designed to meet the immediate needs of the affected host communities in selected sub-districts in Cox’s Bazar, while building skills, resilience and awareness to facilitate their long-term well-being. With a focus on empowering and girls, the objective is to lift the most affected host communities out of poverty through a program that combines livelihoods, social safety nets, financial inclusion and social integration. Activities include: providing grants and related support to ultra-poor women for income generation activities such as home gardening and poultry-rearing; ; improving household food consumption; employment-linked apprenticeship training for out-of-school youth and adolescents (male and female); facilitating production and retailing of traditional clothing materials by women artisans; and targeted training of community health workers and midwives to help address the essential health needs of the most vulnerable host communities. The activities are expected to directly benefit over 10,000 women and young adults and reach over 200,000 members of their households.

Expected results 

The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) women, particularly ultra-poor women, actively begin engaging in multiple income-generating activities; and (2) increased income of adolescents and young adults (aged 14-25) and women artisans through self-employment.

Results achieved 

Results achieved as of March 2022 include: (1) 89% of the 1,800 ultra-poor graduation component beneficiaries set up more than three income-generating productive assets; (2) 2,500 (70%) of beneficiaries who survived on roughly CAN $2.50 a day graduated from extreme poverty; (3) provided skills-building training to 2,652 adolescents and youths (1,506 women and 1146 men between the ages of 14 and 25) in trades. These trades include tailoring and dress-making, wood furniture design and making, mobile phone servicing, beauty parlour, welding service, information technology support, refrigeration and air conditioning, electric motor repair, automobile and motorcycle servicing; (4) 1,591 (60%) adolescents and youth who took part in skills-building training found employment in their respective sectors, with an average monthly income of BDT 3,279 (CAN $45); (5) supported 2,700 youth (50% women) and 6,300 women to take part in income-generating activities through skills training, market linkages, supply chains and apprenticeship-based activities, benefitting roughly 45,000 household members; (6) provided targeted training to 235 healthcare workers (35 community health workers and 200 community health volunteers) and 50 midwives to help meet identified needs in the health sector; (7) provided maternal care, sexual and reproductive health services and family planning to 114,870 women from the host community; (8) provided free outpatient medical services to 133,333 host community members, including diagnoses and needed treatment; (9) provided awareness-building messages to 163,717 (119,479 women, 44,238 men) host community beneficiaries to help reduce the spread of COVID-19; (10) trained 75 health service providers (38 women, 37 men) about infection prevention and control to help deliver continuous health services during the COVID-19 pandemic; (11) gave out 12,693 hygiene kits, including masks, soaps and sanitizers, in the host community; and (12) provided immediate food support to 15,000 households (11,018 women-headed, 3,982 men-headed) through a weekly cash distribution of BDT 1,500 (CAN $20).

Budget and spending 

Original budget $0
Planned disbursement $0
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Bilateral
Type of aid Project-type interventions
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