Bangladesh: Appeal No. MAABD001 - Annual Report 2008

Situation Report
Originally published
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This report covers the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008.

In brief

Programme(s) summary: To achieve Global Agenda Goal 1, the following activities were undertaken by the disaster management programme:

Preparedness, Emergency response and early recovery: In 2008, the International Federation supported the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) to respond to a number of emergencies: 65,700 families received blankets and 15,000 received coconut saplings. A total of 450 fire victims were provided with food and non-food items. Additional food and non-food packages were distributed to 3,000 families who were affected by water logging in south-western districts. A total of 11,200 families received suitable seeds and saplings. The cyclone preparedness programme (CPP) sent out information on cyclone warning signals for Cyclone Nargis and Reshmi, resulting in the evacuation of many people.

Recovery, CBDM, DRR/Climate Change: BDRCS carried out regular activities under the community-based disaster management (CBDM) and earthquake preparedness and response programme (EPRP) to prepare the community to better respond to potential disasters and to adopt with the climate change affects at community-level. The first drafts of the contingency plan for flood and cyclone disasters were also developed.

In collaboration with the South Asian regional initiative, 'Building Safer Communities in South Asia' school level poster competitions were held after a day-long orientation on climate change, adaptation and its linkage with disaster risk reduction (DRR). The third CBDRR field testing workshop was hosted by BDRCS in Dhaka to finalize the content and the methodology with feedback and input from different DRR practitioners including donors, international non-government organizations (INGOs), etc.

Coordination and Capacity Building: Disaster management working group Bangladesh (DMWGB), a monthly meeting mechanism, was established for better coordination among International Federation and BDRCS. The BDRCS, through support from the International Federation country office, was able to send 36 staff members to attend 12 international events (conferences, trainings and regional meetings).

To achieve Global Agenda Goal 2, the health and care programme took the following initiatives:

Capacity of the BDRCS health department and selected existing health programmes are supported to ensure more appropriate health services to the most vulnerable; and contribute to reduce the burden of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), through community-based integrated intervention. Undue delay in recruitment of staff for the HIV programme and in finalizing the information, education and communication (IEC) material affected the implementation of the programme to a larger extent. The deworming and anaemia prevention programme had to decrease the targeted districts due to limited funding, but was able to cover more than 19,397 households with 84 per cent involvement of women volunteers. The avian influenza threat continued to loom over the country throughout the year. Key staff and volunteers from 55 districts were trained to be well versed with the avian flu awareness message so that the same message can be disseminated to more people. But due to the government's rules that prevented others from producing IEC material on avian flu or reprinting government material, BDRCS was not able to produce IEC material to support the programme. In addition, the public health in emergencies (PhiE) programme is gaining more importance due to its empowering nature to the community volunteers and the easy integration with the disaster management programme.

To achieve Global Agenda Goal 3 and 4 the following activities were taken by the organizational development (OD) and humanitarian values (HV) programme:

2008 has been a less active year than 2007 in implementing planned capacity building and humanitarian values activities due to political instability in Bangladesh. Other than the constraints of funds, the state of emergency, national election preparation, lack of resource personnel also contributed towards the delays of various activities. However, targeted activities which could not be achieved have been carried forward to 2009. Details of the activities which were carried out as planned are stated in the below sector under the programme achievements.

Financial situation: The total budget for 2008 is CHF 1,372,722 (USD 1,301,528 or EUR 917,258), of which 83 per cent covered. Expenditure overall was 43 per cent.

No. of people we help:

Programme title
Total beneficiary numbers
Total 2008
Estimated Total 2009
Disaster Management
Health and Care
Organizational Development
Humanitarian Values

Our partners: BDRCS has around 40 partners comprising of community-based non-government organizations (NGOs), government bodies, United Nation (UN) agencies, and Movement partners. Main donors for 2008 for disaster management includes the Swedish and Japanese Red Cross societies, Hong Kong branch of the Red Cross Society of China, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through Swedish Red Cross and Department For International Development (DFID) through British Red Cross. For the health and care programme, they are the ministry of health and family welfare, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), department of public health and environment (DPHE), institute of epidemolody, disease control and research (IEDCR), and the safe blood transfusion programme (SBTP) and the Ashar Alo Society (a people living with HIV (PLHIV) network). For the organizational development programme, it is the Japanese Red Cross.


During the period of 2008, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), with the support of the International Federation, responded to a series of natural catastrophes. Cyclone Sidr and floods that had occurred in the second half of the year alone affected over 21.9 million people. The political turmoil which had troubled Bangladesh (resulting in a state of emergency being declared and a new chief adviser of the caretaker government sworn in), drove the government to set the general election date for December. During this time, the BDRCS had also set a date for the annual general meeting. The annual general meeting never took place because of an annual general meeting voting right query launched by one of the BDRCS's delegates. The said issue was then passed over into legal hands and will be heard in a court of law. As such, the annual general meeting for January 2009 was postponed. This affected the momentum of all planned activities. Moreover, natural disasters and the political situation created an impact on the implementation of the programmes as a number of planned activities were delayed. During this time, it was very difficult to get in touch with personnel at the BDRCS units to carry out regular monitoring and evaluation visits to programme sites. Despite the continuing problems and challenges arising from natural calamities, political instability, working days off to celebrate the holy festival of Eid and the poor financial situation in some of the programmes, steady progress was made under all programmes. Overall implementation was successful, resulting in a visible impact in some areas of the programmes.