Extreme weather events, the annual monsoon season, and the health and economic impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic are hitting communities hard in Bangladesh. Without urgent action by the government and donors, the impact of monsoon hazards will compound the effects and risks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and increase the chances of transmission in already highly vulnerable populations.
Concern Worldwide, Mercy Corps, and Practical Action, members of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance in Bangladesh, conducted an assessment of 15 Union Disaster Management Committees (UMDC) across three districts to understand the state of flood vulnerable populations during the pandemic; and provide recommendations for governments, donors, and communities to better prepare for the compound risks of COVID-19 during the monsoon season.
Specifically, the government and donors should:
- Better prepare communities for the compound risks of COVID-19 and the monsoon season by activities such as: building additional evacuation centres, informing communities about how to prevent COVID transmission, and providing essential items like hand soap, water, and hygiene kits in evacuation sites.
- Strengthen the capacity of UMDCs, including through personnel and funding support, and detailed guidance on how to consider COVID-19 in disaster management planning.
- Provide support to the most vulnerable populations and start planning for livelihood programs that integrate disaster and climate resilience to strengthen communities’ abilities to withstand additional shocks and stresses.