People living in extreme poverty earn less than $1.90 per day. The ultra-poor are the lowest earning and most vulnerable subset of this population.

They struggle everyday to cope with food shortages, poor health, and lack access to basic services like medical services, clean water, sanitation and formal savings. They rarely own any land or productive assets. Lack of education and skills limit their capacities of a decent livelihood. They are mostly excluded from social services and healthcare, generally live in remote areas disconnected from markets and few have any prospect of sending their children to school in the hope that they at least might look forward to a better future.

Approximately 20 million people are trapped in this spiral of poverty in Bangladesh and globally the number is 400 million.



The Graduation approach recognises this complexity and takes a holistic solution to ultra-poverty. Rigorously tested and now replicated across 43 countries and regions, the model has shown great success in enabling ultra-poor families to break out from the spiral of poverty and move towards sustainable livelihoods.

The collection of stories illustrates the transformation of ultra-poor families in Bangladesh, as participants of Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) programme and Graduation programmes in Kenya as part of the PROFIT Financial Graduation pilot who have secured a pathway out of poverty.


A pathway to prosperity


Woman in charge

Household has increased income.


A daughters hero

Participant’s children are going to school


The most important oath

Household’s school-aged children are going to school.


The coop corporation

Household has increased income and better access to nutritional foods


A full and happy home

Household members had two meals a day in the past week. No child goes to bed without an evening meal in the past week.


Beads on a string of love

Participant has multiple types of productive assets with at least two sources of income.


A world of difference, said with a smile

Participant has multiple types of productive assets with at least two sources of income.


Sewing the threads of life

Participant’s productive asset is at least 25% higher than its original value.



Strategic Partners in Bangladesh

Strategic Partners in Kenya