Brazil Assists Bangladesh's Poorest Prepare For Natural Disasters

Published on 19 April 2012

DHAKA – The Government of Brazil has confirmed a contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) of 7,000 metric tons of rice, valued at US$3.3 million, for people living in the most disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh.

This vital donation, which is set to arrive at Chittagong Port on May 9th, will enable assistance to 80,000 highly vulnerable Bangladeshis and their families by involving them in food-for-work schemes designed to make their communities more resilient.

“WFP is very grateful for this generous donation from the people of Brazil,” said Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh. “This donation provides us with the opportunity to support the most vulnerable in Bangladesh in overcoming the combined challenges of food insecurity, under-nutrition and the impact of natural disasters and climate change.”

“Brazil has a long-standing and fruitful partnership with WFP in a variety of issues related to improving food security, said the Brazilian Ambassador to Bangaldesh, H.E. Ricardo L. Viana de Carvalho. “Since 2011, we have been carrying out in-kind donations, with the support of WFP, to a group of over 40 countries which are vulnerable to food insecurity. We are confident that the donation to Bangladesh will have  a positive and lasting impact, and will generate further cooperation between both our governments, as well as with WFP.”

In partnership with the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), WFP will use the contribution to provide employment to ultra poor people, 70 percent of whom are women, on key infrastructure projects in coastal and flood-prone areas through its Enhancing Resilience to Disasters and the Effects of Climate Change (ER) programme.

The ER programme aims to reduce the exposure of food-insecure households to disasters and the impact of climate change through the development of community infrastructure. Together, ER beneficiares build the assets they need to protect their community, and in return they are paid in cash and in food.

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. Wages are paid in food and cash, where WFP provides the food and the Government provides the equivalent in cash. The programme also provides training in disaster management, as well as nutrition, hygiene and health education and income generating activities, which help the ultra-poor get through times of crisis and means they are better prepared when disaster strikes.