Bangladesh

Key facts

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Cyclones | Floods

No. of people reached by anticipation (activation)    

Cyclones: 20,000

Floods: 3,300

Anticipation partners in country    

Bangladesh government (Cyclone Preparedness Program) | Bangladesh Red Crescent Society | German Red Cross | WFP | Care Bangladesh consortium (Concern WorldWide, Islamic Relief, Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System) | Start Network | UNFPA | FAO

Inform Risk Index (2022)    

Hazard and exposure: 6.9

Vulnerability: 5.4

Lack of coping capacity: 5.0

Total: 5.7 (high)

Rank: 27

Country profile

Bangladesh is a low-lying country with a flat topography. It has huge inland water bodies and some of the largest rivers in the world. Eighty per cent of Bangladesh's annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon season (June to October), resulting in flooding that affects around 25 per cent of the land area each year. Flooding that covers 60 per cent of the country’s land mass occurs every four to five years.

Its position on the Bay of Bengal exposes 70 per cent of the population to cyclones coming from the Indian Ocean, which occur once every three years on average. Other hazards include earthquakes and drought. Bangladesh is also one of the world's least-developed countries, leaving many people with few resources to cope during times of disaster.

In response to this hazard profile, the Bangladesh government has invested heavily in coastal resilience and saving lives, for example through the Standing Order on Disasters and the Cyclone Preparedness Program.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society works closely with the World Food Programme (WFP) and other civil society actors to advocate for early action, and to assist the government in developing national policies around anticipatory action. These collaborative advocacy efforts were instrumental in getting anticipatory action included in Bangladesh’s Standing Order on Disasters - an important part of the disaster regulatory framework that govern's the country's disaster preparedness and response.

To date, Bangladesh has implemented early actions more than any other country, with triggers being activated four times by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, three times by the Start Network, and twice by WFP. In 2020, a joint response to flooding reached some 30,000 people.

Bangladesh is also a pilot country for the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). This was activated for the first time in 2020, with the activities funded reaching around 404,000 people.

Projects

Since 2015, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and WFP have been working on anticipatory action to address floods and cyclones in Bangladesh. In 2020, they also began working on a protocol for heat waves. The Start Network, Care Bangladesh, Islamic Relief and Concern WorldWide also work on anticipatory action in the country. 

Thanks to the wide range of actors, and close collaboration with the government, Bangladesh has considerable experience with - and coverage by - anticipatory action compared to other countries.

Since 2015, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and the German Red Cross have been working on cyclone, flood and heat wave protocols, collaborating with WFP (on floods only) and the Bangladesh government to ensure integration with the Cyclone Preparedness Program and other anticipatory initiatives.

Through this project, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, the German Red Cross and the Climate Centre developed a replicable method for flood and cyclone triggers. This has been accepted and implemented by other stakeholders in Bangladesh, expanding the geographical scope of these early actions and increasing the capacity of national actors to implement anticipatory action.

View project page.

In August 2019, the Start Network supported CARE Bangladesh, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Bangladesh and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) to strengthen and implement forecast-based early actions in Kurigram, Gaihandha and Jamalpur. This included support for early warning systems, impact-based forecasting and community-level early actions.

In April 2020, the Start Network funded efforts to anticipate and mitigate a dengue outbreak in Dhaka (alert B027).

In June 2020, the Start Network provided funding to enable CARE Bangladesh to anticipate the impacts of erosion due to flooding in Kurigram Rowmari and Char Rajibpur (alert B031). Riverbank erosion can cause significant damage to land and property, resulting in significant socio-economic impacts.

Since 2015, WFP has been working to establish and strengthen forecast-based financing for floods in Bangladesh, in close collaboration with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and the government. WFP provides unconditional cash transfers and last-mile warnings to communities vulnerable to flood in the northern, flood-prone district of Kurigram.

FAO have been working on anticipatory action to address floods in Bangladesh.

Latest news

December 14, 2021

How coordination between the Red Cross Red Crescent and the World Food Programme set the stage for scaling-up in Bangladesh

A new case study explores how strong collaborations between the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and the World Food Programme played a pivotal role in advancing anticipatory action at the national …

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July 12, 2021

Government to engage practitioners to formulate Forecast-based Financing Action Strategy

To formulate a Forecast-based Financing/ Action (FbF/A) Strategy for Bangladesh, a day long workshop was organized on 9th June 2021 by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) of the …

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June 29, 2021

Generating evidence on the impact of WFPs anticipatory cash transfers ahead of severe river floods in Bangladesh

Since 2015, the World Food Programme (WFP) has been collaborating closely with key government stakeholders, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre …

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April 19, 2021

Anticipating the Bangladesh floods in 2020: FAO impact analysis

After the floods subsided, FAO conducted an impact analysis to understand the effectiveness of its interventions. This publication and video provide an insight into FAO’s role in this process, …

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Meeting of the Forecast Based Financing/Action (FbF/A) Taskforce Committee of the Standing Orders on Disaster
March 25, 2021

Government Forecast Based Financing/Action Taskforce will accelerate FbF/A in Bangladesh

The most awaited meeting of the Forecast Based Financing/Action (FbF/A) Taskforce Committee of the Standing Orders on Disaster was held on Tuesday, 15 March 2021 at the Conference Room of Department …

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February 23, 2021

MoU between Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society for …

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Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bangladesh Meteorological Department and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society for increasing mutual …

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) under the Ministry of Defense of the Government of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Red Crescent …

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