EEP/shiree aims to address the needs of the extreme poor; while there are varying definitions of extreme poverty, shiree beneficiary households fall well within the poorest 10% of the Bangladeshi population. This marginalized segment of the population includes households who are often affected by:
- chronic malnutrition;
- insecure employment;
- lack of shelter;
- limited or no assets;
- little social or political capital;
- limited ability to withstand shocks; and
- poor access to health, education and other basic services.
Extreme poverty is a complex and dynamic phenomenon in which numerous social, cultural and health factors influence a household’s ability to lift itself out of poverty or to sustain positive gains. shiree is helping the poorest households who have failed to benefit from economic growth, social protection mechanisms and other development programmes. In particular the focus is on:
The extreme vulnerable poor who are economically active yet marginalised (e.g. fragmented female-headed households and socially excluded ethnic minorities).
The extreme dependent poor who are economically inactive and rely heavily or solely on charity or government safety nets (e.g. the disabled or elderly without family support).
Women and children in the above categories. In trying to halt the inter-generational transfer of poverty, the programme targets women and children in extreme poor households.