Built back better - from flood affected to flood resilient

05 Sep 2017 by Cathrine Haarsaker, UNDP Bangladesh, Early Recovery Facility and Montasir Rahman, UNDP Bangladesh, Early Recovery Facility

Woman working on dry ground on Char MontolaWoman working on dry ground on Char Montola
  Kurigram, Bangladesh — On a small river island in northern Bangladesh, a women sits outside her home, working on a traditional embroidered quilt. Next door, her neighbor is tending to her vegetable patch. The landscape around them is flooded, but their houses and homesteads stand dry. We are on Char Montola, a river island in Kurigram district in the north of Bangladesh. In the middle of 2017, at a time when many of the river islands, flood plain areas or even higher grounds in the Brahmaputra river basin are inundated, Montola is one of the few standing one foot above the flood water level. The raising of Char Montola was made possible by the UKAid (funded through the Department for International Development DFID) response to the 2015 floods in North-West Bangladesh. With the support of UKAid through a joint UN programme, UNDP’s Early Recovery project implemented a ‘cash for work’ scheme and gave shelter reconstruction support in a total of four sub-districts of Kurigram and neighbouring Gaibandha. … Read more

Can Bangladesh become a welfare state

17 Jul 2017 by Göran Jonsson, Sr. Programme Adviser, UNDP Bangladesh

The National Social Security Strategy approved by the Cabinet in 2015 points to a strong political commitment of Bangladesh to become a welfare state. The welfare state has potential to provide economic security, advance opportunities and ensure wellbeing for all and should, therefore, be of shared interest to citizens of different walks of life. Welfare states come in different shapes, determined foremost by whether universal or selective policies are chosen. However, common to all is that the State as a provider of social security assumes responsibility for guaranteeing a minimum level of welfare to its citizens. This happens to be the majority view in Bangladesh and it is also a mandate of the state as laid down in the country’s Constitution. Poverty reduction has become a unifying moral issue in political discourse and culture. These are good starting points. A welfare state is based on principles of public responsibility for those falling behind, with certain demands on scope and quality of the social security system. Setting standards for what it would take for Bangladesh to become a welfare state, the Core Diagnostic Instrument (CODI), recently developed by a consortium of global development agencies to assess effectiveness of national social security systems, … Read more

Three Women from Satkhira Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Social Security in Bangladesh

09 Jul 2017 by Shazia Omar,consultant

Last week I visited Ashashuni union of Satkhira, a flood-prone area where river erosion, limited economic opportunities and increasing salinity caused by climate change and made worse by shrimp cultivation has resulted in poverty for thousands of people. There I met three women. Poor citizen. The first young woman was a bright eyed lady named Parul Akhtar.  She was dressed in a colourful shalwar kamiz, busy behind her sewing machine, when I arrived at her homestead.  I asked her to tell me a bit about herself while her son circled us curiously.  Parul’s father was a van gari puller who was very poor.  She was married off young because her father could not afford to feed her properly and felt bad about that and he hoped her husband would provide her with a better life.  This didn’t turn out and when she was pregnant she returned to her father’s home because her husband had married another woman from a neighbouring union.  A few months later, her father’s home was washed away by the river during cyclone Aila when she was pregnant. It was a harrowing experience. … Read more

New project launched to reduce climate vulnerabilities of coastal communities

22 Mar 2017 by Arif M. Faisal, Programme Specialist, UNDP Bangladesh , Mohammed Muzammel Hoque, Project Manager, ICBA-AF-RF Project and Md. Kabir Hossain, Communication Officer, ICBA-AF-RF Project

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Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. The country is frequently subjected to cyclones, floods, and storm surges due to the adverse impact of climate change. Coastal mangroves are playing significant role in protecting the life and livelihoods of the millions of vulnerable coastal populations from climate induced extreme weather events.  Through this project, over 650 ha of mangroves will be planted, 112 ha of Fish-Fruit-Forest model will be demonstrated and about 60,000 climate vulnerable poor people will be benefitted through diversified climate resilient livelihoods options in five highly climate vulnerable coastal districts. … Read more

Bangladesh Forest Department, UNDP and FAO jointly observed International Day of Forest

20 Mar 2017

Hon'ble Environment and Forests Minister Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju and Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee Speaks in the occasion
Under the auspices of UN-REDD Bangladesh National Programme, the Bangladesh Forest Department, UNDP and FAO jointly organized a half-day workshop on 21 March 2017 at Forest Department, Dhaka to observe the ‘International Day of Forests’. The meeting was chaired by the Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury. Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was present as the Chief Guest. Honorable Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Forests Mr. Abdullah Al Islam Jakob and Mr. Istiaque Ahmed, Secretary, MoEF were present as the Special Guests. Among others, Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh and Ms. Dr. Sue Lautze, FAO Representative in Bangladesh were present as the Guests of Honour. This year the theme "Forests and Energy" highlights the role of forests in providing bioenergy to the poor people, contributing sustainable development and mitigating climate change. Mr. Sudipto in his speech advocated for investing in land use plan that considers proper use of agricultural land and scarce forests resources for cultivation of biomass plants to ensure both energy and food security. … Read more