Bangladesh disaster risk and climate resilience program
Context: Why is Bangladesh Vulnerable to Disasters?
Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, as well as one of the most disaster prone.
Bangladesh’s flat topography, low-lying and climatic features, combined with its population density and socio-economic environment, make it highly susceptible to many natural hazards, including floods, droughts, cyclones and earthquakes.
More than 80 percent of the population is potentially exposed to floods, earthquakes and droughts, and more than 70 percent to cyclones. On average, the country experiences severe tropical cyclone every three years, and about 25 percent of the land mass is inundated with flood waters every year. Severe flooding occurs every 4-5 years and covers 60 percent of the land mass.
Following the devastating cyclones of 1970 and 1991, Bangladesh has made significant efforts to reduce its disaster vulnerability and is today considered a global leader in coastal resilience due to its significant long-term investments in protecting lives.
Despite these efforts, the vulnerability of the coastal population is on the rise due to climate change.
Its capital, Dhaka, is among the most at-risk cities in the world with its high population density and rapid urbanization located in an area of valuable assets that are also extremely vulnerable to earthquakes. The hazard risk to Dhaka and Bangladesh’s urban areas is not yet well understood and yet to be addressed.
Strategy and Results: Better Preparing for and Responding to Disasters
Since disasters hurt the poor and vulnerable the most, damages caused by disasters can substantially roll back development progress. Disaster Risk Management (DRM) is therefore central to poverty reduction and development efforts. Integrating DRM into development planning and investments in Bangladesh could better protect people and assets from rising disasters impacts.
The World Bank assists client countries in DRM programs through effective disaster risk reduction and post-disaster response systems to reduce existing risks, avoid new risks, and respond better to disasters. In this context, the South Asia DRM team has supported the government of Bangladesh through a combination of technical assistance, investment lending, capacity building and instructional strengthening.
What has been done?
Following Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Aila in 2009 in 2012, the Bank prepared the Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) with $356.82 million to support the Government of Bangladesh’s recovery from the damage of livelihood and infrastructure losses caused by the Cyclone, and established long-term plans to improve preparation and response.
The following year, building upon ECRRP’s rehabilitation work, the Bank enhanced the Government’s coastal resilience efforts through the US$400 million Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP). Following the creation of the $375 million Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP), effective since 2015, MDSP has provided support to the the development of emergency response plans and cyclone shelters to protect coastal residents and their livelihoods.
The US$173 million Urban Resilience Project (URP) supports the Government of Bangladesh and city authorities to reduce the vulnerability of infrastructure and populations to disasters in Dhaka and Sylhet by enhancing their ability to respond to emergency events and improving building codes to be more resilient to disasters.
The Bank also continues to support improvements enhancements in GoB’s capacity to deliver reliable weather, water and climate information services and improve access to such services through early warning, weather, climate and hydro-meteorological information and communication, having recently approved the US$113 million Bangladesh Weather and Climate Services Regional Project.
The Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP) (USD US$ 400 million) --375 IDA & 25 PPCR) approved by the World Bank Board June 26, 2013. Effective since November 24, 2013.
Since 2013, the US$400 million Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP), has helped Bangladesh to mitigate some of the large impacts from of cyclones and flooding and improved emergency response in the coastal region. The project supports the rehabilitation and upgrading of protection polders to protect the areas from tidal flooding and frequent storm surges. This also aims to reduce saline intrusion as well as improve enhancements of agricultural productivity by reducing saline water intrusion in selected polders. Further, the project aims to enhance the Government of Bangladesh’s capacity to respond more efficiently and effectively to natural disasters. The project aims to rehabiliate a total of 17 polders in six coastal districts, which will provide direct protection to the 760,000 people living within the polder boundaries, enhance their livelihoods through increased agricultural production and strengthen the overall resilience of the coastal areas to cyclones, tidal storm surges, floods and salinity intrusion. This in turn will enhance people’s livelihoods through increased agricultural production during normal weather and reduce loss of life, assets, crops and livestock in the event of a disaster.
The Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) (USD US$375 million) approved by the World Bank Board December 2014. Project signed on January 25, 2015. Effective since March 12, 2015.
The US$375 million Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) is a World Bank-led disaster risk mitigation infrastructure project to strengthen emergency preparedness and to reduce the vulnerability of the coastal population in selected coastal districts of Bangladesh to climate change and natural disasters. The project supports the reconstruction and improvement of multipurpose shelters, and builds upon initial phases of these interventions in multipurpose disaster shelters advanced under the Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP). The activities focus on the financing of around 5526 new shelters, rehabilitation of around 450 existing shelters, and the construction and improvement of around 550 kilometers of rural roads to improve access and communication networks of shelters. The project is expected to benefit nearly 14 million people living in the nine coastal districts of Bangladesh by improving access to safe havens in the event of a natural disaster. This would serve to build the resilience of local communities to such natural calamities, and help to speed recovery by protecting critical assets. In addition, the project aims to construct multipurpose buildings, especially primary schools.
The Urban Resilience Project (URP) (US$D 173 million) approved by the World Bank Board March 2015. Project signed on June 30, 2015. Effective since August 3, 2015.
The US$173 million Urban Resilience Project (URP) aims to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Bangladesh and city-level agencies to respond to emergency events and to strengthen systems to reduce the disaster vulnerability of future building construction to disasters in Dhaka and Sylhet. The project seeks to create an enabling environment for coordinated and locally managed DRM, based on three core pillars of disaster resilience in an urban setting: i) effectively respond to urban disasters; ii) reinforce existing infrastructure; and iii) ensure resilient construction. In this context, the project will reinforce the emergency management response capacity, facilitating the support of 68 wards in Dhaka and 20 wards in Sylhet with decentralized emergency response services in Dhaka and respectively 20 wards in Sylhet. Project activities also include a vulnerability assessment of critical and essential facilities in Dhaka, Sylhet and other cities that are needed for longer-term investments that reduce risk in the built environment. The project will also support institutional infrastructure and capacity building to reduce long-term disaster vulnerability in Dhaka, through improved construction, urban planning and development.
The Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) [(USD 356.82 million). (Original Credit USD 109 million + Additional Credit I USD 75 million + Additional Financing II USD 140 million +TF USD 32.82 million)] was aApproved by the World Bank Board on November 6, 2008. Project signed on November 23, 2008. Effective since December 24, 2008. (Original Credit: P111272, AF I: P122014, AF II: P146500)
Following Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Aila in 2009, the $356.82 million Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) supports the Government of Bangladesh’s recovery of livelihood and infrastructure losses caused by the Cyclone, and establishes long-term plans to improve preparation and response. It also supports the Government of Bangladesh's efforts to facilitate recovery from the damage to livelihoods and infrastructure caused by the Cyclone. Additionally, it aims to build long-term preparedness through strengthened disaster risk reduction and management. The project intends to support the restoration of the agriculture sector in Sidr/Aila-affected areas, improvement of existing multipurpose shelters, and construction of new shelters, as well as support the rehabilitation of around 502 km of coastal embankments and the strengthening of the capacity of the government’s disaster risk reduction management. Further, it further includes support to the government for coordinating all project-related activities, strategic studies for the preparatione of future investments operations for the long-term disaster risk reduction program, and technical assistance and training, as well as as providing emergency support for future disasters.
Weather and Climate Services Regional Project for Bangladesh (USD US$ 113 million) – Approved by the World Bank Board by June 2016.
Through this US$113 million Weather and Climate Services Regional Project for Bangladesh, since 2016, the World Bank has worked to strengthen Bangladesh’s capacity to deliver reliable weather, water, and climate information services and improve the access of such services by priority sectors and communities. The project includes improvements in the forecasting of weather patterns and extreme events, development and provision of agromet information services to farmer groups and plans to enhance access of vulnerable communities to early warnings for significant weather and water hazards. Through investments in monitoring systems, forecasting and services, the project will contribute to strengthening Bangladesh’s disaster preparedness and climate resilience and also contributes to the development of weather-based information services that are expected to support decision-making in key productive sectors in the country.