Bangladesh: Cyclone Sidr Emergency Appeal No. MDRBD003 Operations Update No. 15

Situation Report
Originally published


Period covered by this Operations Update: 1 July to 30 November 2009.

This emergency appeal seeks CHF 24,483,160 (USD 22.2 million or EUR 15 million) in cash, kind, or services to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) to assist 243,000 families (1,215,000 beneficiaries) over two years.

Appeal coverage: 79%;

- A preliminary appeal was launched for CHF 3,989,305 on 16 November 2007 to mobilize immediate relief assistance.

- CHF 250,000 was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation.

This operation has largely been completed by 30 November 2009. A final report will be made available three months after the end of the operation, at the end of February 2010.


Two years have passed since Cyclone Sidr hit the coasts of south-western Bangladesh, affecting more than 8.9 million people and causing large-scale economic and agricultural damages all over the country. Survivors are gradually recovering from the devastation.

After completion of the relief operation, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and the International Federation launched an early/mid-term recovery programme to assist the affected communities by employing a participatory, coordinated, integrated and sustainable approach. Focusing on the four worst-affected districts of Bagerhat, Barguna, Patuakhali and Pirojpur, the recovery operation aimed at improving the capacity, living conditions and resilience of the vulnerable households to future disasters. Despite the numerous challenges on the ground which resulted in the slow start-up and delays of the implementation, the recovery programme has achieved the set objectives and has largely been completed as of 30 November 2009.

The core shelter construction component was successfully concluded in October 2009, reaching the planned 1,250 beneficiary families with core shelters. Repair work on partially-damaged houses is ongoing, with households having received cash grants, tool kits, training and individual consultations.

The water and sanitation programme has provided latrine construction training and over 5,100 sets of construction materials to the beneficiary households. Up to 17 new boreholes and three new pond sand filters (PSF) have been installed to provide safe and sustainable water sources to the affected communities. In addition, based on the needs assessment outcomes, repair work and cleaning of existing water sources were carried out. An evaluation of the hygiene promotion and the participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) component was completed during the reporting period, and has revealed that the number of cases of water-borne diseases in the target communities has declined.

The psychosocial support programme (PSP) has completed all planned trainings for beneficiary communities, with several refresher training sessions and community/children's activities planned for the end of November. During the reporting period, the health team has conducted 12 public health in emergency (PHiE) trainings for 48 communities; and organized ten experience-sharing workshops as a follow-up to the trainings. The team also organized a World First Aid Day rally to raise awareness among the public. The PHiE-trained volunteers are active in their respective communities, utilizing their knowledge and skills on the ground.

Restoring the livelihoods of the cyclone-affected population is one of the primary objectives of the Cyclone Sidr recovery programme. The livelihoods programme provides eligible beneficiaries with a cash grant which initially was to be based on the assets they had lost as a result of Cyclone Sidr. However, after the assessment of damages, it appeared that over 2,000 beneficiaries had lost a minimum amount of less than BDT 5,000 (CHF 71.54 or USD 71.32). As the livelihoods programme had focused on supporting the most vulnerable, it became apparent that people had owned very few assets, so the Bangladeshi Tika (BDT) cost of their loss was minimal.

As such, the earlier concept of replacing the value of pre-existing assets had to be reviewed in light of these findings. A decision was then taken to increase the minimum amount of cash grants to BDT 10,000 (CHF 143.1 or USD 142.6) so that the most vulnerable could commence basic livelihood activities; thereby, increasing their economic status.

The Sidr livelihood programme is also helping beneficiaries develop an alternative or options for new livelihoods. Following the development of their livelihoods proposal, they then receive training according to their needs. By the end of this reporting period, 4,951 income-generating activities (IGA) proposals have been prepared, 4,951 bank accounts have been opened, and allocated amounts have been transferred into beneficiaries' bank accounts. The training is still ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of this month. Some of the beneficiaries have already made a start with their new livelihoods activities such as rickshaw pulling, cow/goat rearing, duck/poultry farming, and running small shops.

A programme to strengthen disaster preparedness and the response capacity of BDRCS units commenced during the reporting period. Unit offices are being renovated to make them safer and more productive places to work. Two small warehouses are being constructed, one in each of the Barguna and Bagerhat BDRCS units.

This enables them to store a minimum of relief stocks in preparation for future disasters. It became apparent that none of the BDRCS units in the Sidr-affected areas currently maintain any emergency relief stock nor have any appropriate site for storing relief stocks. Two other BDRCS chapters were also identified as suitable locations to construct warehouses. However, BDRCS were not able to proceed due to the lack of land.

In addition, the Sidr operation undertook repair works on the cyclone shelters with the aim to make them safer and equipped with basic facilities that are required for people during their temporary stay at these shelters. Out of 32 BDRCS-built cyclone shelters, 14 are being repaired based on the needs and set priorities. A disaster risk reduction training for members of the recovery committee, the implementation committee and the community committee as well as Red Crescent Youth (RCY) have been organized in each of the four districts.

Since the launch of the Sidr emergency appeal, international response has been positive. Many partner national societies have made contributions to the appeal: American Red Cross/American government, Andorra Red Cross, Australian Red Cross/Australian government, Austrian Red Cross, Belgium Red Cross/Belgium government, British Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross/Canadian government, Danish Red Cross/Danish government, Finnish Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, the Hong Kong and Macau branches of the Red Cross Society of China, Icelandic Red Cross, Iran Red Crescent, Irish Red Cross/Irish government, Italian Red Cross/Italian government, Japanese Red Cross, Republic of Korea National Red Cross, Liechtenstein Red Cross, Luxembourg Red Cross, Monaco Red Cross/Monaco government, Netherlands Red Cross/Netherlands government, New Zealand Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross/Norwegian government, Qatar Red Crescent, Singapore Red Cross/Singapore government, Slovenian Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross/Swedish government, Swiss Red Cross/Swiss government, as well as contributions from the Czech, Estonia, Greek and Slovakia governments; the European Commission of Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), the OPEC Fund for International Development and a number of other private and corporate donors.

On behalf of BDRCS, the International Federation would like to thank all donors and partners for their generous support to this appeal, and would like to inform all donors and partners that there will be some funds remaining after the completion of the operation. (A plan of action for the use of the balance is under development and will be available together with the final report).