Bangladesh 2006-2007: Appeal no. MAABD001; Programme Update no. 1

Situation Report
Originally published


The Federation's vision is to strive, through voluntary action, for a world of empowered communities, better able to address human suffering and crises with hope, respect for dignity and a concern for equity. Its mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.
In Brief

- Programme Update no. 1, Period covered: January to April, 2006

- Appeal target for 2006-2007 revised from CHF 4.97 million to CHF 5.4 million

- Appeal coverage is 62% and outstanding needs is CHF 2.05 million (USD 1.65 million, EUR 1.32 million)

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: South Asia Regional Appeal MAA52001

Programme summary:

During this reporting period the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), with the support of the Federation delegation, continued its strategic work towards becoming a well-functioning national society. Changing its organizational development process towards a more holistic and systematic manner has strengthened BDRCS and integrated local branches with other programme areas. The country did not face any major natural catastrophe during this reporting period. However, BDRCS demonstrated effective response to a number of small-scale events such as tornados, cold waves, river erosion and fires.

The health and care programme continues to be poorly funded except for some HIV/AIDS activities which are being implemented in this reporting period.

Due to ongoing challenges and changing needs such as deployment of staff and low funding in some programme areas, the 2006 appeal had to be revised. Despite overall appeal coverage at 62%, funding for programmes in health and humanitarian values will be very much appreciated.

Operational developments

Bangladesh's most significant and relevant socio-political, economic or natural events

The political scene in Bangladesh is being dominated by preparations for the next general election. The present ruling party's term of office ends in October 2006. Thereafter, power is handed over to a non-partisan caretaker government who'll oversee general elections within 90 days. Escalating violence in the run up to the elections is a major risk. The country experienced an increase in the number of hartals (general strikes) which disrupt businesses and daily life. It also slows down the BDRCSs implementation of planned activities.

Apart from the elections, the most pressing issue on the political agenda is how to deal with the terrorist threat posed by militant fundamental religious groups. The simultaneous detonation of 500 small bombs across the country in August 2005 and several suicide bombing attacks after that has added to the country's deteriorated security situation. The threat of escalating violence remains despite assurances by leaders of the militant fundamental group in early March this year.

Despite the many challenges facing the country, steady economic growth during the later part of the 1990s helped placed the country among the top performers within the developing world. According to the UNDP human development report 2005, Bangladesh has made significant improvement in its economic development since 2001, moving from low-development countries status to medium-development countries status, putting it ahead of Nepal and Pakistan in the South Asian context. However, in terms of ordinary people's access to income, Bangladesh continues to remain at the lower end of the scale with an annual income per capita of USD 350 (approximately CHF 316).

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society's most significant events

With the assistance of the Federation and its partner national societies, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) continues working towards its aim of becoming a well-functioning national society. In spite of the considerable challenges ahead (particularly its very poor financial situation), it continues to progress slowly but strategically to improve and increase its service delivery to vulnerable communities.

In 2005, BDRCS finalized its second four-year strategic development plan 2005-2008.. This plan, developed in a participatory manner, outlines the year's programme priorities and strategic directions. Lessons learnt in 2005 led to organisational development programmes taking a more holistic and systematic approach with an emphasis on branch development concepts.

Since 1 January 2006, BDRCS has a newly-elected managing board. In December 2005, the BDRCS held its 33rd annual general meeting where four new board members, including a new treasurer, were elected.

The new board, with the support of IFRC, arranged a team-building trip and an orientation workshop on the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at the end of March this year.

Due to the severity of the national society's financial crisis, strong efforts are being made by the Federation delegation to improve financial management and administrative procedures. The BDRCS are reviewing all properties, staff related issues, vehicle fleet and other measures to reduce costs.

Revision of activities for 2006 in this appeal 06/07

There were significant revisions to the planned activities for 2006. Key reasons for these revisions include the changing needs of the population (addressing new needs and threats, such as the risk of avian flu and increase in polio cases), ongoing challenges (poor funding in some programme areas) and strikes and riots due to the tense political situation.

Additionally, many key staff members of the national society and Federation were deployed for short- or long-term emergency relief missions in South Asia. This significantly slowed down the implementation of this year's planned activities, especially in the DM programme. The internal review process concluded that plans developed in 2005 for 2006-2007 was, to some extent, over ambitious. The re-structuring of the BDRCS and the new approach in organization development (OD) also meant integrating OD's central service functions with other programmes (health, disaster management and humanitarian values).

Efforts are now made to mobilize resources and implement activities and programmes in a coordinated way in order to assist the most vulnerable people in a more efficient way. The figure shown in the table demonstrates the appeal coverage for 2006 by programme before and after the budget revisions which were finalized in August 2006:

Health and
Appeal coverage for 2006
(compared with original demarcated budget)
Appeal coverage for 2006
(compared with revised demarcated budget)
Expenditure against funding

This operation is aligned with the International Federatio's Global Agenda, which sets outfour broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society: A.S.M. Akram (acting secretary-general); email:; Phone: +88.02.933.2540; fax: 88.02.935.2303

Federation country delegation In Bangladesh: Selvaratnam Sinnadurai (head of delegation); email:; Phone: +88.02.933.7314; Fax: +88.02.934.1631

Federation South Asia regional delegation in India: Bob McKerrow (head of regional delegation); email:; phone: +91.11. 2411.1125; fax: +91.11. 2411.1128

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Hiroto Oyama (regional officer); email:; Phone: +41.22.730.4273; Fax: +41.22.733.0395; or Nelly Khrabraya (senior assistant); email:; Phone: +41.22.730.4306; Fax: +41.22.733.0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering quality and accountable assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federations's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or national society profiles, please access the Federation's website at

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