Bangladesh

Key facts:

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Floods and Cyclones

No of people reached by anticipation(activation)    

Cyclone: 20,000

Flood: 3,300

Anticipation partners in country    

Bangladesh Government (Cyclone Preparedness Program) | Bangladesh Red Crescent Society | German Red Cross | World Food Program | Care Bangladesh consortium (Concern WorldWide, Islamic Relief, and RIMES) | Start Network | UNFPA | FAO

Inform Risk Index    

Hazard and Exposure: 7.4

Vulnerability: 5.4

Lack of Coping Capacity: 5

Total: 5.8 (high risk)

Rank: 26

Country Profile

Bangladesh is a low-lying, least-developed country with flat topography, huge inland bodies of water, and some of the biggest rivers in the world. Eighty percent of the annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon season, resulting in annual flooding that affects 25 percent of the land area each year. Flooding that covers 60 percent of the country’s land mass occurs as often as every 4-5 years. Its position on the Bay of Bengal also exposes 70 percent of the population to cyclones off the Indian Ocean, which occur once every three years on average. In addition to floods and cyclones, eighty percent of the population is exposed to these hazards as well as earthquakes and drought.

In response to this propensity to extreme event’s the Bangladesh Government has invested heavily in coastal resilience and saving lives through the Standing Order on Disasters and programs such as the Cyclone Preparedness Programme.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society has been working closely with the World Food Program and other civil society actors to advocate for early action and assist the government in developing national policies around anticipation. This advocacy and collaboration were instrumental in getting anticipation into Bangladesh’s Standing Order on Disasters—an important part of the Disaster Regulatory framework governing disaster preparedness and response in Bangadesh. Bangladesh is also a pilot country for the UN OCHA’s CERF programme, which activated for the first time in 2020, reaching around 404,000 people.

Bangladesh has tested the concept of early action more than any other country. the Red Cross has activated 4 times, Start has activated 3 times, and World Food Programme has activated 2 times. In 2020 joint response to flooding reached approximately 30,000 people.

Projects

Since 2015 Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and World Food Programme, have been working on anticipatory action to address floods and cyclones in Bangladesh.

In 2020, they also began working on a heatwave protocol. Start Network, Care Bangladesh, Islamic Relief, and Concern WorldWide are also working on anticipatory action in the country. 

Thanks to the wide range of actors and close collaboration with the government, Bangladesh has more experience with and coverage by anticipatory action than most countries in the world to date.

Since 2015 the Bangladesh Red Crescent and the German Red Cross have been working on cyclone, flood, and heatwave protocols, collaborating with WFP (on floods only) and the Bangladesh government to ensure integration with the Cyclone Preparedness Programme and other anticipatory initiatives. Through this project BDRCS, GRC, and the Climate Centre developed a replicable method for flood and cyclone triggers which has been accepted and implemented by other stakeholders in Bangladesh, thereby expanding the geographical scope of early action and increasing the capacity of national actors to implement anticipatory actions.

In August 2019 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 action (FbA) in Kurigram, Gaihandha, and Jamalpur through support for early warning systems, impact-based forecasting, community-level early actions.

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

In June 2020 START Network funded 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 FbF for floods in Bangladesh in close collaboration with BDRCS 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.