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Faster than floods: How to prevent a double disaster in Bangladesh

Source(s):  Independent, the (UK)

By Gemma Snowdon


As the country battles a growing Covid-19 crisis, millions of people are also facing floodwaters that threaten their homes and livelihoods. Although the Brahmaputra and surrounding river networks provide important natural water sources, during the monsoon they also pose a threat, with waters bursting the riverbanks and inundating large swathes of the low-lying country.

While some disasters resulting from natural hazards, such as earthquakes, are next to impossible to predict, extreme weather events such as floods are relatively easy to anticipate thanks to advances in data collection and weather forecasting systems.

In Bangladesh, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have used these tools to develop an innovative mechanism that employs robust weather forecasts to disburse funding for humanitarian assistance even before a flood occurs. The aim is to offer faster and more empowering support, and to help communities prepare and protect themselves before the next disaster strikes.


Through anticipatory action, WFP and its partners aim to lead to a faster, more efficient and humanitarian response, which also protects development gains and prevents crises before they occur.

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  • Publication date 17 Aug 2020

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