Bangladesh is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, its geographic location being the biggest contributing factor. The consequences of disasters and the resulting environmental degradation pose a serious threat to the economic development of the country. The country's population density and extreme poverty worsen the situation, making the people more vulnerable to natural hazards and public health emergencies.
It is in this context that the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), one of the largest indigenous humanitarian organizations in the country, provides assistance to the most vulnerable people, through its 68 units/branches (covering all administrative districts and major metropolitan cities), as well as its large volunteer base, with approximately 300,000 members/volunteers, including Red Crescent Youth volunteers.
In May 2008, at a planning meeting supported by the International Federation, the BDRCS outlined its plans for the next three years. These plans provide the basis for the development of BDRCS' third strategic development plan (2009-2011) which is currently in progress. New priorities have since been included, incorporating the need to deal with new types of disasters that are emerging as a result of global warming and climate change. The new strategic development plan will continue to focus on the four key strategic directions of the BDRCS: disaster management, health and care, organizational development and humanitarian values, which are critical to strengthening the foundation of the national society and enhancing the overall capacity and performance of the organization. This is in line with the International Federation's Strategy 2010 and its four Global Agenda goals.
The International Federation's 2009-2010 country plan for Bangladesh is consistent with BDRCS' strategic development plan and includes the four core programmes on disaster management, health and care, organizational development and humanitarian values. It will be implemented in close collaboration with key government ministries, UN agencies concerned, and partners within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
The disaster management programme will focus on strengthening the BDRCS' capacity for disaster response and preparedness for response, as well as community-based disaster preparedness, disaster mitigation and disaster risk reduction. The health and care programme will address a range of issues such as HIV (as part of the Global Alliance on HIV(1)), community-based health, emergency health, as well as issues such as malaria, and avian and human influenza. The organizational development programme will support BDRCS in working towards achieving the characteristics of a "well functioning national society". The principles and values programme will focus on promoting Red Cross Red Crescent principles and values.
This plan targets approximately 4,815,100 beneficiaries over two years, including disaster management: 1,752,000 beneficiaries (963,000 men, 789,000 women), health and care: 2,990,100 beneficiaries (1,735,440 men, 1,254,660 women), organizational development: 40,000 beneficiaries (27,000 men, 13,000 women) and principles and values: 33,000 beneficiaries (22,000 men, 11,000 women). The majority of the targeted population are among the most vulnerable, people living below the poverty line and/or in disaster-prone areas (both rural and urban), as well as displaced persons. The targeted beneficiaries include all age groups from different ethnic backgrounds.
The total budget for 2009 is CHF 1,944,751 (USD 1,777,652 or EUR 1,238,695) and for 2010 is CHF 2,255,265 (USD 2,061,485 or EUR 1,436,474).