World Disasters Report 2018 Launched

Disaster Risk Management Division

March 13, 2019

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched the global report, titled “World Disasters Report-2018: Leaving No One Behind”, at a programme in Dhaka yesterday. BDRCS Chairman Hafiz Ahmed Mazumdar, MP, along with other dignitaries formally unveiled it.

Calling on the international humanitarian sector to do more to respond to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people, the global report says that millions of people living in crisis may not be receiving the humanitarian assistance they desperately need.

The report shows, the lack of money is not the only issue limiting how many people in need are identified, reached, and supported. It argues that even if all humanitarian appeals were fully funded, many people would still be left behind because of the choices made by donors, humanitarian actors, and the governments of affected States.

Mr Hafiz Ahmed Mazumdar, MP, Chairman of BDRCS, said: “We have to focus on raising awareness to reduce disaster risks and BDRCS has been implementing various activities to minimize the threat of perils.”

Dr Mohammad Habibe Millat, MP, Vice Chairman of BDRCS, gave a presentation on the history of BDRCS and 100 years of IFRC.

Md Feroz Salah Uddin, Secretary General of BDRCS, said: “This report calls on the international humanitarian sector to do more to prevent potentially millions of people in need from being systematically excluded from aid and relief programming. As the leading local and n¬¬ational Bangladeshi humanitarian agency with 68 branches and a huge volunteer network, BDRCS is uniquely positioned to reach the people most in need, the most vulnerable and the most marginalised.” 

Mr Azmat Ulla, Head of IFRC Bangladesh Country Office, said: “If the vulnerable and under-supported groups discussed in the report are to be identified, reached, understood and supported, the international humanitarian sector must invest in local and national actors like BDRCS.” 

“These groups are uniquely placed to help overcome the chronic issues outlined in the report. They are already present in crisis settings. They speak local languages, understand local customs, and are often best placed to find and support the most isolated and vulnerable people in a manner that is fast, culturally appropriate and, we believe, cost effective. They are our best hope for ensuring that those most in need of help are no longer left behind.” he added.

Despite many international commitments to support local and national actors, progress has been slow. Globally, only 2.9% (USD 603 million) of international humanitarian assistance was provided directly to local and national responders in 2017.

The IFRC’s 2019 Operational Plan for Bangladesh sets a budget of USD 5.5 million to reach 3.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance through BDRCS. The plan has seven areas of focus: Disaster Risk Reduction; Shelter; Livelihoods and Basic Needs; Health; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH); Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI); and Migration. The plan also outlines strategies to strengthen the capacity of BDRCS as well as that of IFRC. 

Photo: IFRC