DHAKA – More than 10,000 people in the poorest and most disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh will be able to participate in training that will help them, their families and communities become more resilient to natural disasters and the effects of climate change, thanks to a contribution of 895 metric tons of rice (valued at US$430,000 / BDT3.3 crore) from the Federative Republic of Brazil to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
Programme participants, 70 percent of whom are women, will receive 22.5 kg of rice and BDT650 in cash per month in exchange for the time and effort invested in training sessions on disaster preparedness and response, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition.
“Brazil strongly supports the World Food Programme’s Enhancing Resilience to Natural Disasters and the Effects of Climate Change initiative,” says Wanja Campos da Nóbrega, Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh. “This is the second occasion that Brazil has made a substantial donation of food to Bangladesh. Global food security is something to which my Government attaches the highest priority, and this donation expresses once more the solidarity of the Brazilian people towards the people of Bangladesh.”
The Federal Republic of Germany contributed US$320,000 (BDT2.5 crore) to cover the costs of transport, distribution and monitoring of the donation. Under the Joint Government of Bangladesh-WFP Programme, the Government of Bangladesh matches the Brazilian rice donation with the equivalent amount in cash to be paid to the participants.
Dr. Albrecht Conze, the German Ambassador to Bangladesh, underlines that “Bangladesh is highly affected by the impact of natural disasters and climate change. In this project, Germany and Brazil are joining hands to reduce the vulnerability of ultra-poor households, with particular emphasis on strengthening the resilience of women. It complements other efforts of the German Development Co-operation towards enhancing the capacity to adapt to climate change, as part of Germany's commitment to Bangladesh and its people.”
“Knowledge about key actions to take before, during and after a disaster can save lives and livelihoods,” says WFP Representative to Bangladesh Christa Räder. “The training participants learn how to best prepare their homes and families, how to act in an emergency, and how to ensure they can prevent undernutrition and disease in the aftermath. Including the participants’ family members, 50,000 people will benefit from these trainings and become more resilient to natural disasters and the effects of climate change.”
Since the start of this year, WFP and the Government of Bangladesh have assisted more than 80,000 women and men to repair and reinforce embankments and raise roads, excavate canals and ponds and elevate the ground around their houses in order to protect their communities from flooding, water-logging and increasing salinity.
In 2012, Brazil supported the Enhancing Resilience to Natural Disasters and the Effects of Climate Change programme with a donation of 7,000 metric tons of rice, valued at US$3.3 million (BDT25.4 crore). The rice was used to support 80,000 programme participants, creating employment opportunities for the ultra-poor and enabling communities to construct and repair protective infrastructure and agricultural assets.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
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