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 | Heat wave


  • 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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News April 24, 2024

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Community cooling centres: an anticipatory approach to mitigate the effects of heat waves

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The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society activates its Early Action Protocol for Heatwaves in Dhaka

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society activated its Early Action Protocol (EAP) for Heatwave in Dhaka on 21 April 2024.

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A roadmap for anticipatory action in Asia-Pacific

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Bangladesh holds its second National Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Humanitarian Action

Over 200 people joined Bangladesh’s 2nd National Dialogue Platform in September, which considered ways to scale up anticipatory action for sustainable development.

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News May 04, 2023

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New briefings examine how anticipatory action works in practice

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News December 05, 2022

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society wins the 2022 Averted Disaster Award

At this year’s Understanding Risk forum, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society collected the Averted Disaster Award for its work to support vulnerable communities ahead of cyclones and floods in 2020.

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Blog October 18, 2022

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Flash floods in Bangladesh – and the way forward for the anticipatory action community

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Blog September 13, 2022

Anticipatory action with refugees and other displaced people: what needs to be considered?

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How does anticipatory action contribute to building resilience?

The immediate aim of anticipatory action is to reduce the immediate impacts of disasters. But evidence from Bangladesh highlights different ways in which investments in this approach can also help …

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Blog May 27, 2022

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Considering socioeconomic parameters in triggers for anticipatory action

Triggers for anticipatory action are predominantly based on weather forecasts – but there are also socioeconomic parameters that influence early actions. How can we incorporate these when analysing, …

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