Japan And WFP Review Disaster Resilience Building In Southern Bangladesh

Published on 03 October 2013

DHAKA – The Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh and the Representative of the United Nations World Food Programme today visited Satkhira, Southern Bangladesh, to see the impact of WFP’s programmes to help communities enhance their resilience to natural disasters and the effects of climate change.

Japan has funded the programme with a donation of US$5.46 million (JP¥470 million / BDT42 crore) in 2013, part of a total contribution to the programme of US$46 million (JP¥4.23 billion / BDT356 crore) since 2008. This support has enabled WFP to help more than 1.3 million people enhance their resilience to disasters and the effects of climate change. The Government of Bangladesh co-funds the programme by matching Japan’s donations.

The mission to Assasuni in Satkhira was led by Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh H.E. Shiro Sadoshima and WFP Representative to Bangladesh Christa Räder.
“Seeing is believing,” said Ambassador Sadoshima. “I have observed the effective and efficient implementation of our food assistance to Bangladesh through WFP, which is underway in this region as smoothly as in other parts of the country, extending good help to the poorest, most vulnerable and undernourished people of Satkhira. I would like to thank WFP and the Government of Bangladesh for their hard work.”

“Japan’s support has been instrumental in making thousands of communities on the southern coastal belt of Bangladesh and in flood-prone areas along the Jamuna river in northern Bangladesh more resilient to natural disasters,” said Christa Räder. “People in these areas can now grow more crops in the dry season and lose less of their harvest to floods. Their homes and livestock are better protected and above all they have the knowledge and economic resilience to prepare for and respond to disasters, and to cope better with the aftermath.”

More than 400,000 people in the most disaster-prone upazilas in 12 of the poorest districts of Bangladesh are currently benefitting from the Japanese contribution, which WFP has used to purchase a nutritious food basket distributed in cash and food as remuneration for the work and training participation.

The programme brings local government representatives, NGOs and communities together to identify a project that will protect their homes and fields from the adverse effects of climate change, and make them more resilient to disasters. Together, they then repair and reinforce embankments, 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, and to boost agricultural production. The Local Government Engineering Department provides technical oversight of the projects.

The mission witnessed a training session on disaster risk reduction and life skills. Throughout the rainy season, these sessions take place to enhance the participants’ knowledge, attitudes and practices in the areas of disaster preparedness and response, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition. More than 70 percent of the programme participants are women.

In exchange for their time and labour, all programme participants receive a nutritious food ration from WFP and the equivalent in cash from the Government of Bangladesh over a period of two years.

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For more information, please contact:
Christa Räder                     Masayuki Taga                                                       Cornelia Paetz
Representative                   Counsellor (Development Cooperation)          Public Information
WFP Bangladesh               Embassy of Japan                                                WFP Bangladesh
christa.rader@wfp.org       masayuki.taga@mofa.go.jp                                cornelia.paetz@wfp.org
Tel: 918 3022                       Tel: 8810087, Ext: 103                                         Tel: 918 3022, Ext: 2164