Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the reduction of poverty and vulnerability through sustained economic growth accompanied by a diverse portfolio of social protection programmes. Over the past decade, it has been among the fastest-growing economies in the world – contributed by a demographic
dividend, strong ready-made garments (RMG) sector, and stable macroeconomic conditions. Nevertheless,
the real momentum was gained by the firm commitment and determination of the Honourable Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina, who spearheaded the country towards materializing the long-cherished national
goal of transforming Bangladesh into Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla or Golden Bengal.
As a result, Bangladesh reached a lower-middle-income status in 2015 and is on the right track for
graduating from the UN’s Least Developed Countries (LDC) list by 2026. Poverty declined from 44 per cent
in 1991 to 15 per cent in 2016, in terms of the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. The country has
achieved remarkable progress in human and social development as evidenced by commendable advances
in key socio-economic indicators, like child nutrition, life expectancy, and gender equality. Bangladesh’s
ranking on the Human Capital Index is higher than that of the South Asian average.
Rapid economic progress, coupled with strong political commitment, enabled Bangladesh to embark upon
adopting a lifecycle-based inclusive social security system through the formulation of the National Social
Security Strategy (NSSS) in 2015. This is a long-term roadmap for reforming the country’s social security
structure building upon the existing network of diverse social security programmes.
The Government has allocated adequate resources for maintaining socio-economic development, with
a greater focus on underpinning inclusive and broad-based social protection interventions, anchored
in the principle of leaving no one behind. Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emphatically
expressed her optimism that the NSSS can establish a welfare-based society with the inclusion of the poor
and marginalized, which is the main objective of the strategy. Following the launching of NSSS, a fiveyear-
long Action Plan was formulated for 2016 to 2021. The NSSS Action Plan of the first phase has been
implemented by relevant ministries and divisions, while the next phase of the action plan (2021-26) has
Assigned by the Central Management Committee (CMC) on Social Security, the NSSS Action Plan Subcommittee,
led by the Secretary, Coordination and Reforms of the Cabinet Division formulated this Action
Plan. The Sub-committee, after gathering relevant information, and conducting a series of consultations,
meetings, and workshops with relevant stakeholders, finalized the Action Plan and placed it on the 15th
meeting of the CMC on 27 June 2021. As per the decision of the 15th CMC meeting, the draft was sent to
the ministries for further review and feedback. Following the feedback of the ministries, the Action Plan
has been further revised by the Sub-Committee and then it was approved by the 16th CMC meeting held
on 23 December 2021.