The Disaster Management and Relief Ministry has got less attention in the national budget for fiscal 2020-21 with lower allocation compared to the outgoing financial year.
“I propose to allocate a total of Tk 9,836 crore for the next 2020-21 fiscal year for disaster management and relief, which was Tk 9,872 crore in current fiscal 2019-20,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday said while presenting the budget in Parliament .
This year’s proposed allocation is Tk 36 crore lower than the outgoing year’s.
In his budget speech, Kamal said Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters due to global climate change.
“In the last few years, we have been moving away from traditional disaster management and focusing more on reducing disaster risks and improving adaptability and resilience. But due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we have quickly expanded our humanitarian relief and support activities,” he said.
In the wake of corona crisis, the minister said, they have planned to procure additional 2 lakh metric tons of paddy and rice above the government’s regular procurement targets.
“We have established a National Disaster Response Coordination Cell (NDRCC) to transmit coordinated early warnings and critical disaster information to the grassroots level. Bangladesh has been successful in engaging volunteers during disasters,” he said.
The minister said 56,000 volunteers have already been given trainings and provided with necessary rescue equipment, and a database of them has been prepared while 35,000 urban volunteers have been specially trained for disaster response in urban areas.
He said Bangladesh has become a role model of humanitarian support provider in the world by providing safe shelter, food, healthcare service etc. to 11 lakh Rohingya refugees who were forcefully dislodged from their homes in Myanmar.
“We will continue with this gesture of humanitarian response in the coming fiscal year too,” Kamal added.