A curriculum on community-based Cyclone Early Warning Systems has been launched at a ceremony at Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner’s office in Cox’s Bazar district town.
Officials from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), which leads the national Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP), launched the curriculum on Friday night.
The ceremony was attended by Secretary of MoDMR Md. Mohsin; Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Shah Rezwan Hayat; CPP Director Ahmadul Haque; Deputy Commissioner of Cox’s Bazar district Mamunur Rashid; Representatives from BRAC as well as Professor Dr. ASM Maksud Kamal, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Dhaka; Sheila Grudem, WFP Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.
Jointly organized by the government, WFP and BRAC, the event was told that Bangladesh is no stranger to natural disasters; from Tropical Cyclone Bhola pre-independence to Tropical Cyclone Amphan in 2020 and the many floods and natural disasters in between, the people of Bangladesh have proven their resilience to climate shocks.
Since 1970, systems and protocols have been developed to save lives and improve recovery time for communities.
One of these developments is the implementation of Early Warning Systems, an essential part of disaster risk reduction that gives time to individuals and communities to prepare for an expected disaster.
A product of the collaboration between MoDMR and WFP, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and BRAC’s Humanitarian Leadership Academy, this manual, in conjunction with training, will aim to strengthen the capacity of volunteers to disseminate early warnings to communities across all coastal areas where the Cyclone Preparedness Programme is active.
“Strengthening emergency preparedness is the best way to protect our communities against natural disasters and climate change,” said Md. Mohsin, Secretary of MoDMR.
“We are grateful for the support of WFP and USAID, which helped bring this curriculum to life,” Mohsin added.
“We are thankful to the government for taking the lead in developing this curriculum, which will help improve Bangladesh’s early warning systems and should serve as a valuable resource for all humanitarian actors involved in emergency preparedness,” said Sheila Grudem, WFP Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.
“The new curriculum will help our volunteer capacity development a big deal,” said Ahmadul Haque, CPP Director.
Increasing resilience and reducing the damage caused by disasters is a key priority for WFP due to the profound impact disasters have on food-insecure and vulnerable populations around the world.
As part of WFP’s disaster risk reduction programmes in Bangladesh and in collaboration with the MoDMR, since Page 2 of 2 2019 WFP has also rehabilitated 70 cyclone shelters and improved access to them through roads, bridges, and culverts, with support from USAID.