The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC) are providing funding and technical support to Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) for capacity building. IFRC and BDRCS are trying to achieve the goals of strategy 2020 through its activities. The national society with the help of IFRC is providing immediate and recovery support after every disaster: to save lives and protect livelihood of the community people.
Also, to enable healthy and safe living, the health and care division is working with the community on immunizing children, providing first aid support, preventing anemia; and creating awareness for avian influenza and swine flu. IFRC and BDRCS are promoting social inclusion and a culture of non- violence and peace by following the fundamental principals of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in their activities.
During the reporting period Bangladesh has witnessed several natural and manmade disasters which affected the socio-economic conditions of the people of Bangladesh. IFRC and BDRCS were heavily engaged in the relief work in response to the cold wave and a local storm. The cold wave swept across the country from December 2009 till the last week of January 2010. The local storm hit several northern districts of Bangladesh on 14 April 2010. Relief was provided by the IFRC through the disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) to support the people who were affected.
Activities under the cyclone Aila emergency appeal have been completed by April 2010. In the recovery and rehabilitation phase the Red Cross Society of China, Hong Kong Branch provided support to the cyclone Aila affected people with cash grants and fishing boats. Besides this, transitional shelter materials will be provided to the selected beneficiaries by June 2010. A programme named community based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) has started from March 2010. It is actually the continuation of the community based disaster management (CBDM) programme. The aim of the programme is to build a strong and resilient community, one that will be able to respond faster in the even of; and bounce back better after, any disaster.
The cyclone preparedness programme (CPP) is always working with people from the coastal areas to create awareness. The programme purpose is to reduce the loss of lives and properties which occurred due to the cyclone. An assessment for repairing and maintaining wireless stations and equipment has been conducted; and technical support for repairing the instrument will be provided soon. To ensure effective early warnings during the cyclone season, small and medium sized batteries have been sent to the CPP working area. Furthermore, vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) exercises have been conducted around 60 cyclone shelters in the CPP working area so that the needs of the communities can be addressed properly. Several information education and communication (IEC) materials, like flip charts on cyclone preparedness; a CBDRR curriculum; and multi-hazard posters have been developed under the "reducing risk of the vulnerable people through disaster preparedness" (RRDP) project. (In addition, the process for repairing of 60 cyclone shelters has started).
Under the health and care programme emphasis has been placed on national society capacity building. Along with the measles campaign which mainly focused on immunizing children under four; an awareness raising programme on avian influenza and swine flu under the human pandemic preparedness (H2P) programme was also implemented through BDRCS. The health and care programme provided training on first aid to selected volunteers. The volunteers, in turn, are expected to provide first aid service to the injured people during heavy traffic rush hours. BDRCS is also working with selected communities to prevent anaemia.
Under organizational development, a seven step strategic planning process was designed and approved. BDRCS is now implementing the activities according to the plan. Branch capacity assessment started from mid-April. The assessment of 12 out of 68 BDRCS branches have already been completed by May 2010 and the rest will be finished soon. The assessment will also help to identify the human and financial resources within BDRCS. However, BDRCS's constitution is still under review.