UNICEF Bangladesh - Our work - Emergencies every day

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Emergencies every day

© UNICEF/BANA2007-00278/Noorani
Carrying an aluminum pot full of water from river Bauleshar, Rozina crosses a flooded body of water using fallen trees. Grass stuck on barren branches on trees behind indicates how high water had risen.

According to the World Disaster Report 2012, Bangladesh is the fifth disaster risk country in the world since its topographic and geo-physical location has made it vulnerable to various natural hazards. Flood, cyclones/tornadoes, tidal surge, river erosion, coldwaves are common emergencies affecting millions of people of the country in varying scale.

Sixty per cent of the country is vulnerable to flood in which 25-30 per cent area becomes inundated during normal floods. Twenty-five per cent of the total population who live in the coastal areas, is vulnerable to cyclone, an annual disaster event in the country. The poor and marginalized communities are mostly affected by these natural disasters with children and women always being the most vulnerable groups.

In May 2013, a total of 1.2 million people had become vulnerable during cyclone Mahasen. Government’s Early Warning System was assessed as the warning messages/signal reached to the remote communities with adequate lead time. Both the government and humanitarian organizations have acknowledged it as a successful emergency preparedness measure.

Emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction are central to UNICEF’s everyday work in Bangladesh. Specific targeted interventions are included in programme section work plans. UNICEF’s support varies depending on the magnitude or the scale of the crisis and assistance of other stakeholders, particularly from the government.

During an emergency, UNICEF provides support in several key areas:

Safe water and hygiene

Food and supplies

Education and protection



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