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The strategic goal for the Netherlands support to Bangladesh (2005-2008) is the improvement in the health status of the Bangladeshi population, with particular emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights status of the Bangladeshi women and girls. The health sector in Bangladesh has demonstrated significant successes over the past three decades, in particular in reducing the total fertility rate and decreasing infant and child mortality rates. However, significant challenges remain, including persistent high rates of maternal mortality and malnutrition; addressing violence against women (which counts for at least 14% of maternal deaths) and limited access to services for women and girls. Health indicators generally reflect marked gender inequalities.

Health Nutrition and Population Sector Programme

The Netherlands provides support to the Government of Bangladesh Health Nutrition and Population Sector Programme (HNPSP). The aim of HNPSP is to enhance the growth and poverty reduction prospects of Bangladesh and accelerate progress on the MDG targets set out in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The programme builds on the implementation of the first Health and Population Sector Programme (HPSP), which marked a shift from a multiple project approach to a single sector-wide approach (SWAp). The HNP Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is underpinned by a three year Programme Implementation plan (PIP).

HNPSP is supported by a large group of development partners. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the European Commission, DFID, UNFPA, and the German and Swedish Embassies pool their funds, which are administered by the World Bank in a Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). On 15 October 2006, the Government and the World Bank signed a MDTF Grant Agreement for the channelling of U$ 460 million grant funding. Other donors provide specified parallel support to the programme.

The HNP SIP is consistent with the PRSP, in that it aims to improve the health systems responsiveness to the HNP needs of the poor by:

  • Improving HNP service efficiencies, including human resource development

  • Accelerating progress towards MDG goals

  • Improving equity through better targeting of public subsidies to the poor

  • Strengthening the stewardship and governance role of the MOHFW

  • Dialogue with civil society and developing mechanisms to encourage greater ownership of HNPSP by stakeholders.

  • Improving sector governance and management

Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS

The Netherlands backs specific efforts for improving reproductive health and reproductive rights of women and adolescents in Bangladesh through project funding and policy dialogue. The Embassy is currently exploring possibilities to support a safe motherhood initiative, and support to scaling up of the national menstrual regulation programme.

The Netherlands Embassy provides support to Bandhu Social Welfare Society, a national non-government community based organization, to improve the reproductive, sexual health and wellbeing of males in Bangladesh with a focus on those who are socially excluded and stigmatized.

Health Research

Core funding is provided to the Centre for Health and Population Research ICDDR,B. The mission of ICDDRB is to develop and promote realistic solutions to the major health, population and nutrition problems facing the poor people of Bangladesh and other settings.

Useful links:

UN Country Team in Bangladesh :
Bandhu :

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