Bangladesh 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.


Hazard and exposure: 6.9  |  Vulnerability: 5.4  |  Lack of coping capacity: 5.0  |  Total: 5.7 (high)  |  Rank: 27


Cyclones | Floods


  • 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 OCHA-facilitated collective anticipatory action. A first activation took place in 2020, where some 220,000 people were reached before peak flooding. Based on learnings from 2020, the revised and active pilot covers some 410,000 people.

Read more about projects, resources, activations and working groups below. 

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Forecast-based financing in Bangladesh

Since 2015 the Bangladesh Red Crescent and the German Red Cross have been working on cyclone, flood, and heatwave protocols. The cyclone protocol supports the Bangladesh Government Cyclone …

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Collective anticipatory action for floods in Bangladesh facilitated by OCHA

OCHA is facilitating the setup of multiple anticipatory action pilots and developed an anticipatory action framework for floods in Bangladesh, which was activated in July 2020 in collaboration with …

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Supporting Flood Forecast-based Early Action and Learning (SUFAL)

The SUFAL project is implemented by a consortium led by CARE, with Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief and technical partner RIMES, and with financial support from ECHO.

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This image shows cash distribution at Kurigram 2020 flood early action.

The practitioners guide to cash early action: experiences from Bangladesh

This blog provides guidance to practitioners on cash early action based on experiences in Bangladesh.

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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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Does cash assistance make a difference before floods Evidence from Bangladesh

A quantitative study on anticipatory actions taken in 2020 confirms several positive effects, but also shows some unexpected results. Read more.

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Beneficiary Data Collection

The Story of Heatwave Anticipatory Action in Dhaka Bangladesh

By applying Anticipatory Action, heatwaves could be anticipated, and early actions could be implemented before the occurrence of heatwaves to reduce their impact, human suffering, and losses. Read …

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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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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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Collaboration in action! Formalizing cooperation between government agencies and humanitarian actors to accelerate anticipatory action in …

These agreements with government agencies will bring the policy makers as well as the scientists from hydro-met organizations in closer contact with practitioners in humanitarian sectors, so we can …

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Bangladesh monsoon flooding 2020: anticipatory action pilot

In Bangladesh, OCHA-facilitated collective anticipatory action was activated for floods in 2020, where some 220,000 people were reached before peak flooding.

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Anticipatory action for cold waves in Bangladesh

Cold waves regularly hit northern Bangladesh, often with severe impacts. But they are an overlooked disaster, with few humanitarian agencies tackling the impacts. To address this, the Start Fund …

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