19 Apr 2021 , last updated 19 Apr 2021

Anticipating the Bangladesh floods in 2020: FAO impact analysis

In July 2020, a 1 in 10 year flooding event hit Bangladesh. However, this year was different. Instead of reacting, humanitarian partners came together to proactively protect lives and livelihoods. Coordinated by the OCHA, and in partnership with FAO, WFP and IFRC/Bangladesh Red Crescent, the agencies agreed in early 2020 on an Anticipatory Action Framework for floods – meaning that the agencies pre-agreed on acting early based on same trigger and designed anticipatory actions to implement when the time came. When the trigger was met in early July, the agencies had a 10-day lead time to act. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) rapidly released USD 2.8 million in 4 hours to the agencies to act early, in what was the fastest UN allocation of resources in history. A variety of actions were implemented by the agencies, WFP lead cash interventions, UNFPA provided dignity and hygiene kits, while FAO provided farmers with livestock feed and water-tight storage drums to keep seeds and tools safe. Together over 56,000 households were supported.  

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, lessons learned and perspectives from the farmers themselves.  

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Striking before the floods in Bangladesh

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