Building Resilience, Constructing Lives

12 Jul 2016

One of the beneficiaries of UNDP-ERF reconstructing his house at Jumkarchar in Kurigram Sadar. Photo: Santu Das/UNDP
Like every other day, Abdur Rashid and his family went to bed early knowing they would have to be up again in a few hours, ready for work. But as he fell asleep to the sloshing of the rain accompanied by the occasional rumbling of thunder, a strange feeling of unease played at the back of his mind. In the wee hours of the night, a dreaded roaring startled him and he sat up in bed. A thousand thoughts went through his head as he saw the barrage of water gush into his home, tearing through the flimsy fencing. He yelled for his family members to wake up, as he rushed towards the broken wall of the hut to try and hold off the water with his own body and whatever else he found near. Within a few seconds he realized his efforts were futile – there was no stopping this. He screamed for help frantically and waded to the other side of the hut to try and lift the bed, one of the very few possessions in their otherwise scant house. Soon he realized their efforts here would fall short too, as he saw the level of water increase rapidly … Read more

How to move on from disaster risk - literally

07 Jul 2016

A fisherman casts his net near a line of modular "mobile" houses in Sariakandi, Bangladesh. Photo: Md. Moazzem Mostakim Timur, UNDP
In Bangladesh, where worsening river erosion and other disasters destroy huge numbers of homes each year, one innovation could cut losses and build resilience: “mobile” houses that can be dismantled, moved and reassembled in a matter of hours. The light-weight homes, developed by a flood-prone Bangladeshi community with the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Australian Aid, use low-cost, locally available materials and can be quickly carried away without the need for trucks or other equipment. In Sariakandi, an area in northern Bangladesh, floods regularly inundate homes, most recently during the 2014 monsoon. … Read more

Cyclone Roanu is a reminder: we must focus on preventing crises, even as we respond to them

23 May 2016

Bangladesh’s exposure to cyclones will not lessen – in fact, with climate change we may see the coast battered more often, harder, and in unpredictable ways. UNDP Bangladesh
As the World Humanitarian Summit unfolds and leaders discuss the humanitarian impact of rising crises and disasters, half a million people are currently displaced after Cyclone Roanu pummeled the Bangladesh coastline on Saturday, with 55mph winds and floodwaters several feet high. Making landfall in the country’s south-east, the cyclone brought devastation to areas unaffected by cyclones for the past 25 years. Where there used to be crops there is now salt water – the sea surrounding even the cyclone shelter. We are already on the ground in Banshkali, the hardest-hit area and the site of 7 of the 24 confirmed deaths caused by cyclone. The embankment protecting the people living there caved in, flooding homes, crops, and freshwater fish ponds.   Meeting with survivors and surveying the damage, our team learnt that in some areas, as many as ninety percent of houses may be damaged, leaving families without shelter for the oncoming monsoon season. Many are now sheltering on a raised road nearby.   Further south, in the sub-district Chokoria, the embankment had not been fully reconstructed following last year’s Cyclone Komen. On Saturday, the community was again inundated by Roanu. The poor recovery left the villages even more vulnerable than … Read more

Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All

21 Sep 2015

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on the 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for harmony – whether it be government, private sector or civil society groups – peace and development that leaves no-one behind. Bangladesh has been a stand out performer not just in economic growth but in poverty alleviation too.  Growth is steady at 6.25% and at the same time poverty has fallen from 56.7 percent in 1991-92 to 31.5 percent in 2010.  The under-five mortality rate has been reduced, significant progress has been made in attaining gender parity at primary and secondary schools, and remarkable improvements have been made in the areas of poverty reduction. This was reflected in a 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey indicated that incidences of poverty are declining at a rate of 2.47 percent per year since 1991/92.  But the growth and progress seen across … Read more

এইমস ওয়েব পোর্টাল- কার্যকর উন্নয়ন সহযোগিতার পথে বাংলাদেশের আরেক ধাপ

23 Mar 2015

বাংলাদেশের সার্বিক উন্নয়ন প্রক্রিয়ায় বৈদেশিক সহায়তার ভূমিকা অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। যদিও, সাম্প্রতিক দশকগুলোতে বৈদেশিক সহায়তার উপর আমাদের নির্ভরশীলতা অনেক কমে এসেছে, তা সত্ত্বেও এখনও পর্যন্ত বাংলাদেশের বার্ষিক উন্নয়ন কর্মসূচির প্রায় এক তৃতীয়াংশের সংস্থান করা হয় বৈদেশিক অর্থ সহায়তার মাধ্যমে- যার মধ্যে রয়েছে বিভিন্ন দেশ ও আন্তর্জাতিক উন্নয়ন সহযোগিতা সংস্থা হতে প্রাপ্ত ঋণ সহায়তা, অনুদান, কারিগরি সহায়তা ইত্যাদি। তথ্যের এই অবাধ প্রবাহের যুগে উন্নয়ন সহযোগিতাকে কার্যকর করবার অন্যতম পূর্বশর্ত হচ্ছে উন্নয়ন সহায়তা প্রাপ্তি ও ছাড় প্রক্রিয়াকে অধিকতর স্বচ্ছ ও জবাবদিহিতামূলক করা। আর এই স্বচ্ছতা ও জবাবদিহিতা তখনি পালন করা সম্ভব যখন অনলাইনের মাধ্যমে সর্বসাধারণের মধ্যে এতদসংক্রান্ত তথ্যাবলীর দ্রুত ও অবাধ প্রাপ্তি নিশ্চিত করা হয়। এরই পরিপ্রেক্ষিতে সম্প্রতি বাংলাদেশ সরকারের অর্থনৈতিক সম্পর্ক বিভাগের আওতায় বাস্তবায়নাধীন ইউ.এন.ডি.পি. সহায়তাপুষ্ট “Strengthening Capacity for Aid Effectiveness in Bangladesh” শীর্ষক প্রকল্পের মাধ্যমে একটি ওয়েব পোর্টাল বা তথ্য বাতায়ন-- Bangladesh Aid Information Management System  (বাংলাদেশ এইড ইনফরমেশন ম্যানেজমেন্ট সিস্টেম) বা Bangladesh AIMS (বাংলাদেশ এইমস- http://aims.erd.gov.bd) চালু করা হয়েছে। এইড ইনফরমেশন ম্যানেজমেন্ট সিস্টেম বা এইমস হচ্ছে এমন একটি ওয়েবভিত্তিক সফটওয়্যার যার মাধ্যমে বিদেশ থেকে আসা উন্নয়ন সাহায্য সম্পর্কিত যাবতীয় তথ্য ও উপাত্তসমূহ অনলাইনে একটি নির্দিষ্ট ওয়েবসাইটে রক্ষণাবেক্ষণ ও প্রয়োজনমত ব্যবহার করা সম্ভব। এইমস চালু হবার ফলে বাংলাদেশে আসা বৈদেশিক সাহায্যের পরিমাণ ও ব্যবহার সংক্রান্ত তথ্য ও উপাত্তসমূহ এইমস ওয়েবসাইট (http://aims.erd.gov.bd) থেকে … Read more