UNDP Complements the National Efforts to Minimize the Sufferings of Cold Wave Victims
People across the country are enduring the severest cold wave in the last 45 years and may experience two more chilly spells in the current month. The mercury hit 45 year low on 10th Jan 2013, with the minimum temperature recorded at 3 degrees Celsius in Saidpur.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief and the Prime Minister`s Office along with UNDP, national and international NGOs, Red Cross/Red Crescent, and Dutch-Bangla Bank have distributed over 644,000 blankets to reduce the sufferings of cold wave victims. In addition, BDT 51 million has been allocated from the Government to the districts for blankets. However, the gap analysis undertaken by the Department of Disaster Management with assistance from UNDP Early Recovery Facility reveals that additional 1.5 million households are still in need of blankets and warm clothes to minimize their suffering.
Responding to the formal request from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, UNDP through its Early Recovery Facility (ERF) Project and Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction Project (UPPR), has launched the cold wave response with the distribution of 58,700 blankets to the most vulnerable households in the cold affected districts.
ERF in collaboration with the Bangladesh Scouts, the largest volunteer network in Bangladesh, distributed the blankets among the affected poor families in Panchagarh, Thakurgoan, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalamonirhat, Natore, Pabna, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Bogra, Joypurhat, Jessore, Sirajgonj, and Jamalpur districts. Women headed families, lactating mothers, widows, elderly, people with disabilities, minority groups, are given the priority in the beneficiary selection for receiving the blankets. A coupon was issued by the Local Scouts to each beneficiary a day before the distribution and the following day the beneficiary received a blanket upon presentation of the coupon at the distribution center.
District level Bangladesh Scouts headed by the Deputy Commissioner worked out the distribution plan to ensure smooth and timely distribution of blankets amongst the target beneficiaries while at the Upazila level, Chairperson of Bangladesh Scouts Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) led the whole process of distribution together with the concerned District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer (DRRO) and Project Implementation Officer (PIO).