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Taking Action To Tackle “Unprecedented Challenge” Of Climate Change

DHAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), and the German Red Cross (GRC) today announced a new pilot project that will help Bangladesh take urgent measures to better prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The project, entitled Forecast Based Preparedness, is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. It will see WFP provide forecasting and other technical support to the Department of Disaster Management, which is responsible for disaster preparedness and response in Bangladesh, while GRC will work with BDRCS to enhance the latter’s emergency preparedness expertise linked to forecasts – both internally and for its work with communities.

“Bangladesh is often cited as a good example of how to carry out disaster risk reduction,” said Rico Wallenta, Senior Representative for GRC. “However, the challenges posed by climate change are unprecedented. There is an urgent need to coordinate – to boost national capacity and that of BDRCS as government auxiliary – to prepare for and respond to the kind of large-scale emergencies we can expect in coming years.”

Although disaster preparedness in Bangladesh has led to a reduction in the average number of deaths from cyclones over the past decades, the country is still one of the most vulnerable in the world to natural disasters. Climate change is likely to result in both more frequent and more intense disasters in the region, raising fears that drought, violent cyclones, saltwater intrusion and floods will increase food insecurity, push vulnerable people further into poverty, and potentially offset gains in poverty reduction and agricultural production.

“Enhancing capacities to identify and manage climate change risks will help us be better prepared before and when disaster strikes,” said Christa Räder, WFP Bangladesh Representative.

“We look forward to further strengthening our support to BDRCS in its role as a service provider to the Government of Bangladesh,” said Mr Wallenta.

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About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @WFP_Asia

About GRC
The German Red Cross is part of the worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. As part of and in consultation with other components of the RCRC movement, GRC participates in a large number of humanitarian aid and development programs and projects in currently more than 45 countries.  

For more information please contact:
Christa Räder, Representative, WFP Bangladesh, tel. +880-2-918-302-233,

Rico Wallenta, Senior Representative, German Red Cross, tel. +880-175-562-8346,

Daniel Svanlund, Communications Officer, WFP Bangladesh, tel. +880-2-918-3022 ext. 2164,