Neglecting the urban poor in Bangladesh: research, policy and action in the context of climate change


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In Bangladesh, urban poverty is neglected in research, policy and
action on poverty reduction. This paper explores the underlying reasons for this
relative neglect, which include national identity and image, the political economy
of urban poverty and the structuring of knowledge creation. It argues for more
comprehensive policy and programmes for the urban poor given Bangladesh’s
increasingly urban future and the growing magnitude of urban poverty. The
impact of climate change will accelerate Bangladesh’s ongoing urbanization as
well as deepen the scale and severity of urban poverty. The fact that reducing
urban poverty will be increasingly important in meeting national goals for poverty
reduction means that policy and action must pay more attention to the urban
poor. This is contingent upon two factors: first, a better understanding of the scale
and nature of urban poverty and vulnerability; and second, the confrontation of
powerful interests necessary to secure a national commitment to urban poverty

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