Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)
- Capacity Building Trainings: BRAC staff members have been trained in the SOP procedures, and its health workers and health volunteers have received first aid and disaster management skills, in order to provide the community with emergency support in a time of crisis. DMCC also provided trainings to BRAC schoolteachers, Village Organisation leaders, and community leaders, all of whom represent individuals who are usually recognised as first responders during a natural disaster.
Moreover, simulations or reinforcement exercises were conducted that recreated disaster scenarios with audio and visual effects in which representative participants from the entire communities enacted disaster protocols to better prepare for an actual disaster situation. In addition, professional level courses were provided for BRAC staff and high government officials at BRAC University in order to develop an expert team to tackle emergency situations in Bangladesh.
- Psycho social support
Another important initiative that will especially focus on children will be the introduction of psycho-social trainings for trauma victims of disasters. This is a rather untouched measure in Bangladesh, so DMCC will be tapping into a completely new territory. By giving training on how to analyse symptomatic behaviour of a patient’s past experiences and struggles, this project will be providing counselling services for disaster victims, thus facilitating their return to normal life. In the aftermath of disasters, DMCC now arranges for psycho-social counselling for victims.
- Relief Assistance:
Since inception, BRAC has had veteran experience in providing relief to disaster-affected rural poor. As a continuation of that legacy, the programme implements relief distribution during emergencies for disaster victims on a need based assessment, giving priority to women, children, the elderly and the physically challenged. Provision of relief has also been a key agenda for DMCC. During peak emergency, relief packages include daily essentials needed for survival. The programme also prioritises long-term sustainable solutions that allow victims to be self-sufficient, as was in the case of Aila. The provision of livelihood opportunities for the self-sustenance of ultra-poor thus forms a crucial component of DMCC’s disaster resilience strategy.
Although a reactive measure, relief assistance is a major component of the programme for a country that is frequently affected by natural disasters. Recently, DMCC mobilised resources for relief distribution in cyclone affected Hatiya and Subornochar, as well as landslide affected areas in Cox’s Bazaar and Bandarban.
Furthermore, the programme has been providing water and sanitation assistance alongside different forms of advocacy and structural support to provide aid to disaster affected communities. It installed latrines for sanitation and waste management, assisted with health support and shelter facilities and provided alternative livelihood opportunities in affected areas. It also distributes relief prioritising child and woman headed households; families headed by seniors or handicapped persons and women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.