WFP And Brazil Collaborate To Help Poorest In Bangladesh Prepare For Natural Disasters And Climate Change

Published on 16 August 2012

DHAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is helping some 400,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis prepare for and cope with the impact of natural disasters and climate change through a Government of Brazil donation of 7,000 tons of rice, valued at US$3.3 million, and in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh.

The ultra-poor in the country will participate in communal infrastructure projects and training schemes in coastal and flood-prone areas. These projects are part of WFP’s Enhancing Resilience (ER) to Disaster and the Effects of Climate Change Programme, which aim to build the resilience of food-insecure households against the effects of extreme natural hazards and climate change.

This rice donation is the Government of Brazil’s first contribution to WFP’s food security programmes in Bangladesh.

“This is a beginning of what we believe will be a very strong South-South partnership,”says WFP Bangladesh Representative Christa Räder from an ER project site in Chilmari Upazila, Kurigram in the North of Bangladesh. “Brazil understands, as we do, that Bangladesh is ambitious. These kinds of partnerships will be very important for Bangladesh, not only for the Enhancing Resilience programme, but beyond.”

“What the world needs is solidarity. What the world requires is those that have more to be concerned about those that have less and help them with means to move ahead.”, responds Brazilian Chargé d’Affaires, Fausto Godoy. “Brazil has travelled the long road of development; we are a developing country that is conscious of our responsibilities, and also our achievements. We are interested to share these achievements with others, as partners. Brazil can be helpful to Bangladesh because we also still face poverty issues,” he explains.

Bangladesh Government representatives, Ahraful Haque, Additional Chief Engineer of the Local Government Division and Manzarul Mannan, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) also expressed their gratitude and support for a long-term partnership with Brazil.

Activities under the ER programme include building and maintaining embankments, re-excavating canals for irrigation and drainage, raising homesteads above flood levels, the building of roads, and paddocks for livestock. As an incentive for participating in these projects, the targeted vulnerable communities receive food and cash, where WFP provides the food and the Government provides the equivalent in cash. In addition to building communal assets, the programme also gives training on disaster management, nutrition, hygiene and health education and income generating activities that help the ultra-poor --70 percent of whom are women -- get through times of crisis.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Christa Räder, WFP/Dhaka, Tel. +880-2-8116344-48 or 8119064-73

Jessica Staskiewicz, WFP/Dhaka, Tel. +880-2-8116344 or 8119064-73 ext. 2154, Mob. + 88–01730320964