The government of Japan has decided to provide the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with USD 0.5 million assistance in response to the super Cyclone Mocha which made landfall on 14 May and hit Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. The heavy rains caused damage in both Myanmar and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, significant damage was observed to camps hosting approximately 930,000 refugees. A total of 4 districts, 26 Upazilas (sub-districts), 99 unions, and 429,337 Bangladeshi nationals were affected by the cyclone, according to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. The intense and heavy wind and rainfall destroyed or damaged shelters, water points, latrines, culverts, bridges, and other key community infrastructure. Also Read: Japan, IOM sign $5.7 million assistance to Rohingyas, host communities in Bangladesh This emergency grant is to provide critical WASH services to Rohingya, and host communities affected by the cyclone Mocha through IOM. Activities will include repairing and installation of latrines, provision of hygiene packages to those affected populations and hygiene awareness/promotions activities. “I feel empathy for those who suffer from disasters such as cyclones. Japan is also prone to natural disasters and is committed to supporting the response and the Build Back Better after Cyclone Mocha for both Rohingya and host communities," said Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori on Tuesday. Also Read: Japan wants to understand what’s happening in Bangladesh and where it’s headed, BNP says as ambassador meets Fakhrul He hoped that the WASH services supported by Japan will contribute to maintaining the hygiene environment and will prevent water-borne diseases which might outbreak after the cyclones. Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh Abdusattor Esoev said they are grateful for the generous support of the government of Japan in response to the devastating impact of Cyclone Mocha on the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar. Also Read: Will continue to work toward resolution of Rohingya issue: Japan "Japan's commitment to supporting the response and the 'Build Back Better' approach demonstrates their empathy and dedication to those affected by disasters. Together with our partners, we will continue our efforts to provide essential assistance and support the recovery of the affected communities," said Abdusattor Esoev. Since the beginning of the emergency in August 2017, Japan has been a steady supporter of the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh, contributing over USD $200 million to IOM and other UN agencies as well as NGOs in Bangladesh, including through this new funding.
The government of Bangladesh has handed over the relief goods to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) for proper coordination and distribution among the earthquake- affected people in Syria. The humanitarian assistance package for the people of Syria from the government of Bangladesh, under the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, arrived at Damascus, Syria on Saturday by a special flight of Bangladesh Air Force Aircraft C-130J. Ambassador of Bangladesh to Syria resident in Amman Nahida Sobhan and Deputy Minister of Local Administration and Environment of Syria Moutaz Douaji received the relief goods at the Damascus international airport. Read more: Survivors still being found as quake death toll tops 28,000 The humanitarian assistance package contains dry food, medicine, blankets, tents and winter clothes, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Earlier, President Md Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen conveyed profound condolences to their Syrian counterparts on behalf of the government and the people of Bangladesh. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated the whole course of sending the humanitarian assistance package in collaboration with the AFD, BAF and the MDMR in successfully dispatching the relief goods to Syria.
As humanitarian needs soar to unprecedented levels, top UN officials on Friday highlighted the importance of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in supporting emergencies and responding rapidly to crises, calling it "a lifeline of hope." According to the recently released Global Humanitarian Overview, 339 million people will need emergency assistance next year – 65 million more people than this year – a 25 percent increase and the highest number ever recorded. "We all face difficult economic times. But the most vulnerable people are hit hardest. CERF is the tried and tested way to help them," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at a major pledging event. CERF prioritises those most likely to be marginalised and left behind, including people with disabilities, older people, women and girls. "Last year, over half of the beneficiaries were women and girls, and close to six percent were people with disabilities. CERF spending on protection reached a record of more than $84 million," according to the UN. Read: CERF allocates $9 million to Rohingya response in Bangladesh "This year, it has ensured that hundreds of thousands of women in Lebanon, Somalia and other countries, receive services related to gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive healthcare." So far this year, CERF has allocated more than $700 million to support millions in need of urgent assistance throughout some 40 countries. This included kick-starting operations in Ukraine on February 24, the date of Russia's invasion, as well as rapidly responding to weather-related emergencies, such as in Cuba, which was hit by Hurricane Ian, and supporting recovery in Pakistan following the devastating floods and landslides there. In 2022, CERF also provided $200 million to address worsening food insecurity in the most-affected countries, as well as $250 million towards critically underfunded humanitarian operations in 23 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. Read: Rohingya crisis: CERF allocates $3mn to NGOs for COVID-19 response For 2023, 39 donors announced $409 million in CERF contributions, falling just short of the $467.7 million pledged at last year's event. However, additional funding is anticipated as several donors announced that pledges are forthcoming. CERF's member state-agreed annual funding target of $1 billion has never been achieved.At the pledging event, Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said the high level of humanitarian needs outstrips the resources available. "Next year must be the year of solidarity."
Japan, UNFPA join hands to provide $3.7 million assistance to Rihingyas in Bhasan Char, host communities in Noakhali
The government of Japan and UNFPA have on Tuesday signed an exchange of notes for the assistance to Rohingyas in Bhasan Char and host communities in Noakhali district. The contribution of USD 3.7 million will be used for improving access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, protecting the dignity and safety of women and girls from gender-based violence (GBV) and empowering adolescents and youth. “With the generous support of the government of Japan, UNFPA is able to work with the Government of Bangladesh to scale up lifesaving SRH, and GBV services and strengthen linkages between key health facilities in Noakhali district. UNFPA wishes to thank the Government of Japan for the confidence expressed and most notably their encouraging engagement to improve health and protection outcomes for women and girls and across Noakhali district and Bhasan Char,” said Kristine Blokhus, UNFPA Representative. Read more: UN adopts resolution on human rights of Rohingya, other minorities in Myanmar Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki said Japan can provide additional assistance to Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char, and to the host communities through UNFPA. "While many women and girls are suffering from reproductive health problems and GBV due to the protracted Rohingya crisis, assistance to those areas has been relatively scarce," he said. The Ambassador hoped that this assistance will contribute to the protection of women and girls, their dignity, and improvement of their quality of life. As the Rohingya crisis has turned into the sixth year, it is imperative to continue funding for better and dignified lives of refugees, while making every effort for the early repatriation to Myanmar, Naoki said. "Durable solutions of this crisis will be conducive to realizing the vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Japan will stand by the Government and the people of Bangladesh in supporting the Rohingya response,” said Naoki. Read more: Relations with Bangladesh now deeper, more extensive: JICA Since the beginning of the emergency in August 2017, Japan has been a steadfast supporter of the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh, contributing over USD $175 million to UNFPA and other UN agencies and NGOs in Bangladesh, including through this new funding.
Three Nordic countries - Denmark, Norway and Sweden- have assured Bangladesh of continuing their assistance for the economic development of the country. The Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ambassadors to Bangladesh -- Winnie Estrup Petersen, Espen Rikter-Svendsen and Alex Berg von Linde respectively-- said this at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday. Read: PM gives away National Film Awards to 32 winners The three diplomats jointly paid a courtesy call on the prime minister at the latter’s official residence Ganobhaban on the occasion of the 50 years of diplomatic relationship between Bangladesh and Nordic countries. PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting. The envoys congratulated the prime minister on the occasion of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and the three Nordic countries. They said their countries had given recognition to Bangladesh in 1972 soon after the independence. They praised the progress of Bangladesh particularly the social development gained following the footsteps of Bangabandhu. The ambassadors highly appreciated the prime minister for providing houses to the landless and homeless people.
US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded nearly $1.5 million technical assistance grant to Power Cell, a policy and planning agency under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh. The assistance will help improve the reliability, affordability and resiliency of Bangladesh’s electricity grid through smart grid infrastructure. “For USTDA, the grant we are signing is an important example of the climate-smart infrastructure projects we are looking to support,” said Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally (Ret.), USTDA’s Acting Director. “It has the potential to shape Bangladesh’s power grid, to make it more efficient and dynamic, and to create a stronger foundation for the integration of renewable energy solutions.” Also read: Korea intend to intensify engagement with Chattogram USTDA’s assistance will provide a detailed roadmap that will provide an investment and implementation schedule for using smart grid technologies to improve the grid in Bangladesh over the next ten years. Massachusetts-based Boston Consulting Group will carry out the assistance. “Two-way communication brought about by a smart grid will allow us to generate and use power more intelligently and efficiently. Implementing a smart grid is therefore an infrastructure development as potent as any bridge or flyover,” said Helen LaFave, Chargé d’Affaires, of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka on Thursday. This activity advances the goals of USTDA’s Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure, which connects U.S. industry to major clean transport and energy infrastructure projects in emerging markets. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. Also read: Dhaka-Washington’s 8th partnership dialogue likely in March-end USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
The US government has announced an additional $25 million in urgent Covid-19 assistance to help Bangladesh expand its fight against the pandemic, including expansion of vaccinations. With the support through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US government will provide life-saving medical and oxygen supplies and cold chain equipment to store, transport, and administer vaccines safely. In addition to US-donated vaccines, this new US assistance will help Bangladesh expand vaccinations to people across the country, enable health workers to treat critically ill patients more effectively, and enhance the quality of care in health facilities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the US government has provided a total of over $121 million to support Bangladesh’s response to Covid-19 and continues to work closely with the Bangladeshi government and other partners to protect the health of Bangladeshis, according to the US Embassy in Dhaka. “We’re proud to work with Bangladesh to help health professionals respond to Covid-19 by equipping hospitals with oxygen and other specialized equipment to improve the quality of critical care across the country for years to come. This new assistance will also support Bangladesh’s goal of vaccinating 40 percent of the population by the end of the year,” said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller. The total US government’s Covid-19 assistance to date includes the donation of 11.5 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and additional support for the rollout of the national vaccination campaign. The US government has also committed $4 billion to support the worldwide COVAX vaccination effort, making it the world’s largest donor for equitable global Covid-19 vaccine access.
Brac, one of the largest development organizations in the world, has provided assistance to 500 poor families affected by flash floods in Cox’s Bazar district. Some 235 families at Jaliapalong, Palongkhali, Rajapalong, Ratnapalong, Haldiapalong unions of Ukhiya upazila and 265 families at Whykong, Nhila, Baharchara, Teknaf Sadar and Sabrang unions of Teknaf upazila got the assistance. With the support of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Humanitarian Crisis Management Programme (HCMP), Brac distributed the materials among the affected people recently. The assistance materials included 500 mugs, utensils, spoons, solar lamps, jute bags and 500 pairs of shoes, 3003 pieces of soap, 1000 glasses and plates. Shuvo Kumar Saha, Disaster Risk Reduction Sector Specialist, and field-level employees of Brac handed over the materials to the affected people at their respective locations. Local eminent people were also present on the occasion. READ: Brac pulling foreign staff, inc. 12 Bangladeshis, out of Afghanistan Rozina Ahkter, 38, one of the recipients and resident of Shah Pori Island of Sabrang union of Teknaf upazila, in her reaction said her family was badly affected by the floods this time. Earning income for her family became tough as their house was inundated by the flood water. Assistance provided by Brac at such a difficult time benefitted us very much. “We’re delighted at the support,” she said. In a statement, Hasina Akhter Huq, Area Director of HCMP of Brac, said Brac since its inception has been working for improving the condition of disadvantaged people. Flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall caused extensive damage to many people in the district. Field-level employees of Brac stood beside them along with the government and provided the assistance at such a time of natural calamity, she said. “We hope we’ll be able to cope with natural disasters successfully with the combined efforts of both the government and NGOs,” she added. READ: Canada joins hands with Brac to support vulnerable people According to Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) as of 01 August, 2021 said, 06 refugees died, 46,545 refugees were affected, 21,000 refugees displaced, and 6,418 shelters were damaged by flash flood.
The World Bank has approved $600 million for two projects in Bangladesh to help over 1.75 million poor and vulnerable populations.These two projects will include youths, women, disadvantaged groups, and returnee migrant workers to improve employability and livelihood opportunities and build their resilience against future shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a WB media release.The $300 million Accelerating and Strengthening Skills for Economic Transformation (ASSET) Project will equip more than 1 million youths and workers with skills needed for the future of work. Read: 3 legal luminaries appointed from Bangladesh to WB's arbitration courtThe project will particularly support youths, women and disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities to become skillful and to connect them to the labour market.The project will also support industries to retrain their workers during and after the pandemic and thus accelerate recovery.The $300 million Resilience, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood Improvement (RELI) Project will help improve the livelihoods of about 750,000 poor and vulnerable rural people across 3,200 villages in 20 districts. Read: Govt, WB ink $250 mn deal to help Bangladesh create more jobsBoth projects have a maturity of 30 years, including a grace period of 5 years.“In Bangladesh, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the livelihoods of thousands of people, particularly, female workers, youths, and returnee migrant workers,” acting World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Dandan Chen said. He said these two projects will help empower and mobilise rural poor people, prepare them for the future job market and support entrepreneurial opportunities, especially for women and disadvantaged groups. Read Funding for vaccine procurement earmarked in deals with WB, ADB: Dr MeerjadyWorld Bank Team Leader for the Accelerating and Strengthening Skills for Economic Transformation (ASSET) Project Md. Mokhlesur Rahman said that Building on the success of earlier projects, ‘STEP’ and ‘NARI’,’ the project will help modernise and build resilience of the technical vocational education and training sector of Bangladesh.It will set up an international standard model polytechnic in the country.“Further, the project will benefit the informal sector workers through expanding the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)’ program.” Read: Bangladesh economy shows early signs of recovery amid uncertainties, says WB reportWorld Bank Team Leader for Resilience, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood Improvement (RELI) Project Jean Saint-Geours said the project will provide immediate and tailored livelihood support to rural poor people for responding to urgent needs such as the Covid-19 pandemic, improve their ability to cope with future shocks and help them come out of poverty through income-generating activities and skill development.The project will help organise village groups, build their capacity and finance community plans for savings and micro-loans, as well as climate-resilient infrastructure, giving priority to the poor and extreme poor, women, and youth.With over 90 percent female beneficiaries, the project will also support entrepreneurship and encourage crop diversification, good nutritional practices, while raising awareness of climate risk adaptation and mitigation, the spread of diseases, and gender-based violence. Read Bangladesh’s GDP to increase by 3.6 % in 2020-2021, WB forecasts
A week of Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip has left over 200 Palestinians killed and rendered over 40,000 homeless. Most harrowingly, it would seem to be children who are disproportionately affected - at least 58 of the dead are children. While viral stories of children looking through rubble for a favourite toy, or left distraught by the thought of starting all over, or going back to save their pet goldfish in one instance, have undoubtedly tugged at people's hearts around the world. Bangladesh has always stood firmly by the cause of Palestinian statehood. And during the present flare up, many Bangladeshis have extended their hand of cooperation in their personal capacity as well. Responding to a keen enthusiasm among the public to donate money that can go towards aiding Palestinians, the Palestinian Embassy in Dhaka has shared some mobile phone numbers on its official Facebook page for those willing to send financial support. Read Address Palestinian issue: Bangladesh to UN Security Council There is also a provision for those who would like to donate by cash to go to the Embassy in Baridhara from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. Against the backdrop of the ongoing military atrocities and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Israeli air and land forces on innocent Palestinians, the State of Palestine is being reduced to rubbles, the Facebook post reads. Read Israeli military says it bombed home of a top Hamas leader There was some confusion among netizens as to whether the Facebook page was genuine, since it is not verified. Palestinian Ambassador Yousef SY Ramadan, however, confirmed to UNB that it is indeed their official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/palestinembassydhaka/). Read Israeli airstrikes on Palestinians worst example of barbarism: GM Quader "We will be posting extra information InshaAllah. So, you can follow the guidelines accordingly," the ambassador wrote in a Whatsapp message.