BRIEF July 25, 2018

Bangladesh Disaster Risk and Climate Resilience Program

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Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of cyclones and other natural disasters. It is essential for Bangladesh to adapt to increased uncertainty and prepare to ride out most severe of storms. The Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) will reduce the vulnerability of nearly 14 million coastal people to natural disasters.


Context: Why is Bangladesh Vulnerable to Disasters?

Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, as well as one of the most disaster prone.

Bangladesh’s flat topography, low-lying and climatic features, combined with its population density and socio-economic environment, make it highly susceptible to many natural hazards, including floods, droughts, cyclones and earthquakes.

More than 80 percent of the population is potentially exposed to floods, earthquakes and droughts, and more than 70 percent to cyclones. On average, the country experiences severe tropical cyclone every three years, and about 25 percent of the land mass is inundated with flood waters every year. Severe flooding occurs every 4-5 years and covers 60 percent of the land mass.

Following the devastating cyclones of 1970 and 1991, Bangladesh has made significant efforts to reduce its disaster vulnerability and is today considered a global leader in coastal resilience due to its significant long-term investments in protecting lives.

Despite these efforts, the vulnerability of the coastal population is on the rise due to climate change.

Its capital, Dhaka, is among the most at-risk cities in the world with its high population density and rapid urbanization located in an area of valuable assets that are also extremely vulnerable to earthquakes. The hazard risk to Dhaka and Bangladesh’s urban areas is not yet well understood and yet to be addressed.

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The Emergency Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) supports the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) efforts to facilitate recovery from the damage to livelihoods and infrastructure caused by Cyclone Sidr and to build long-term preparedness through strengthened disaster risk reduction and management.


"The changing climate is making lives more difficult for vulnerable communities such as mine. We shall need to work harder to adapt. But whenever I hear of a new shelter being built or an existing one being repaired, I know that there is still hope for our villages and for our families."
Hasina Begum
Headmistress of Paschim Napitkhali Primary School in Barguna

Strategy and Results: Better Preparing for and Responding to Disasters

Since disasters hurt the poor and vulnerable the most, damages caused by such events can substantially roll back development progress. Disaster Risk Management (DRM) is therefore central to poverty reduction and development efforts. Integrating DRM into development planning and investments in Bangladesh will better protect people and assets from rising disasters impacts.

The World Bank assists client countries in DRM programs through effective disaster risk reduction and post-disaster response systems to reduce existing risks, avoid new risks and respond better to disasters. In this context, the South Asia DRM team has supported the government of Bangladesh through a combination of technical assistance, investment lending, capacity building and instructional strengthening. 

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The Coastal Embankment Improvement Project - Phase I (CEIP-I) aims to upgrade Bangladesh’s embankment system by increasing the area protected in polders in polders from tidal flooding and frequent storm surges.


What has been done?

Following Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Aila in 2009, the US$ 356.82 million Emergency Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) supported the Government of Bangladesh’s recovery of livelihood and infrastructure losses caused by the Cyclone, and establish long-term plans to improve preparation and response.

Building upon ECRRP’s rehabilitation work, the Bank enhanced the Government’s coastal resilience efforts through the US$ 400 million Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP) and a US $375 million Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP). Since 2015, MDSP, has been supporting the development of cyclone shelters and emergency response plans to protect coastal residents and their livelihoods.

The US$ 173 million Urban Resilience Project (URP) supports the Government of Bangladesh and city authorities to reduce the vulnerability of infrastructure and populations in Dhaka and Sylhet to disasters by enhancing its ability to respond to emergency events and improving building codes.

The Bank also continues to support enhancements in GoB’s capacity to deliver reliable weather, water and climate information services and improve access to such services through the US$ 113 million Bangladesh Weather and Climate Services Regional Project.

Projects

The Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP) (US$ 400 million) approved by the World Bank Board June 26, 2013. Effective since November 24, 2013. 

Since 2013, the US$ 400 million Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP), has helped Bangladesh mitigate some of the large impacts of cyclones and flooding and improve emergency response in the coastal region. The project supports the rehabilitation and upgradation of protection polders to protect the areas from tidal flooding and frequent storm surges and reduce saline intrusion to enhance agricultural productivity. Further, the project aims to enhance the Government’s capacity to respond more efficiently and effectively to natural disasters. Rehabilitation of a total of 17 polders in six coastal districts will provide direct protection to the 760,000 people living within the polder boundaries, enhance their livelihoods through increased agricultural production and strengthen the overall resilience of the coastal areas to cyclones, storm surges and floods.

The Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) (US$ 375 million) approved by the World Bank Board December 2014. Effective since March 12, 2015.

The US$ 375 million Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) is a World Bank-led disaster risk mitigation infrastructure project to strengthen emergency preparedness and reduce the vulnerability of the coastal population in selected coastal districts of Bangladesh to climate change and natural disasters. The project supports the reconstruction and improvement of multipurpose shelters, building upon initial phases of these interventions advanced under ECRRP. The activities focus on the financing of 552 new shelters, rehabilitation of 450 existing shelters, and the construction and improvement of 550 kilometers of rural roads to improve access and communication networks of shelters. The project is expected to benefit nearly 14 million people living in the nine coastal districts of Bangladesh by improving access to safe havens in the event of a natural disaster. This would serve to build the resilience of local communities to natural calamities, and help speed recovery by protecting critical assets. In addition, the project aims to construct multipurpose buildings, especially primary schools.

The Urban Resilience Project (URP) (US$ 173 million) approved by the World Bank Board March 2015. Effective since August 3, 2015.

The US$ 173 million Urban Resilience Project (URP) aims to strengthen the capacity of Government of Bangladesh and city-level agencies to respond to emergency events and strengthen systems to reduce the disaster vulnerability of future building construction in Dhaka and Sylhet. The project seeks to create an enabling environment for coordinated and locally managed DRM, based on three core pillars of disaster resilience in an urban setting: i) effectively respond to urban disasters; ii) reinforce existing infrastructure; and iii) ensure resilient construction. In this context, the project will reinforce the emergency management response capacity, supporting 68 wards in Dhaka and 20 wards in Sylhet with decentralized emergency response services. Project activities also include a vulnerability assessment of critical and essential facilities in Dhaka, Sylhet and other cities in order to inform longer-term investments that reduce risk in the built environment. The project will additionally support institutional infrastructure and capacity building to reduce long-term disaster vulnerability in Dhaka, through improved construction, urban planning and development.

The Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) (US$ 356.82 million). Approved by the World Bank Board on November 6, 2008. Effective since December 24, 2008.

Following Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Aila in 2009, the US$ 356.82 million ECRRP supported the Government of Bangladesh’s recovery of livelihood and infrastructure losses caused by the Cyclone, and establish long-term plans to improve preparation and response. The project supported the restoration of the agriculture sector in Sidr/Aila-affected areas, improvement of existing multipurpose shelters, construction of new shelters, rehabilitation of around 502km of coastal embankments and strengthening the capacity of the government’s disaster risk reduction management. It further included support to the government to prepare future investments for long-term disaster risk reduction, technical assistance and training, as well as emergency support for future disasters.

Weather and Climate Services Regional Project for Bangladesh (US$ 113 million) – Approved by the World Bank Board by June 2016.

Through this US$ 113 million Weather and Climate Services Regional Project for Bangladesh, the World Bank is working to strengthen country’s capacity to deliver reliable weather, water, and climate information services and improve the access of such services to priority sectors and communities. The project includes improvements in forecasting weather patterns and extreme events, development and provision of agromet information services to farmer groups and plans to enhance access of vulnerable communities to early warnings for significant weather and water hazards. Through investments in monitoring systems, forecasting and services, the project will contribute to strengthening Bangladesh’s disaster preparedness and climate resilience and to the development of weather-based information services that are expected to support decision-making in key productive sectors.


Projects

The Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP) (USD 400 million --375 IDA & 25 PPCR) approved by the World Bank Board June 26, 2013. Effective since November 24, 2013.  

The $400 million Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP), has since 2013 helped Bangladesh to mitigate some of the large impacts from cyclones and flooding and improved emergency response in the coastal region. The project supports the rehabilitation and upgrading of protection polders to protect the areas from tidal flooding and frequent storm surges and includes as well improvements of agricultural production by reducing saline water intrusion in selected polders. Further, the project aims to enhance the Government of Bangladesh’s capacity to respond more efficiently and effectively to natural disasters. The project aims to rehabilitate in total 17 polders in six coastal districts which will provide direct protection to the 760,000 people living within the polder boundaries and enhance the resilience of the coastal areas to cyclones, tidal and floods and salinity intrusion. This in turn will enhance people’s livelihoods through increased agricultural production during normal weather and reduced loss of life, assets, crops and livestock in the event of a disaster.

The Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) (USD 375 million) approved by the World Bank Board December 2014. Project signed on January 25, 2015. Effective since March 12, 2015.

The $375 million Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project (MDSP) is a World Bank-led disaster risk mitigation infrastructure project to strengthen emergency preparedness and to reduce the vulnerability of the coastal population in selected coastal districts of Bangladesh to climate chance and natural disasters. The project supports the reconstruction and improvement of multipurpose shelters and builds on initial phases of interventions in multipurpose disaster shelters advanced under the Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP). The activities focus on financing of around 556 new shelters, rehabilitation of around 450 existing shelters, and the construction and improvement of around 550 kilometers of rural roads to improve access and communication networks to shelters. The project is expected to benefit nearly 14 million people living in the nine coastal districts of Bangladesh by improving access to safe havens in the event of a natural disaster. This would serve to build the resilience of local communities to such natural calamities, and help to speed recovery by protecting critical assets. In addition, the project aims to construct multipurpose buildings, especially primary schools.

The Urban Resilience Project (URP) (USD 173 million) approved by the World Bank Board March 2015. Project signed on June 30, 2015. Effective since August 3, 2015.

The $173 million Urban Resilience Project (URP) was initiated to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Bangladesh agencies to respond to emergency events and to strengthen systems to reduce the vulnerability of future building construction to disasters in Dhaka and Sylhet. The project seeks to create an enabling environment for coordinated, locally managed disaster risk management based on three core pillars of disaster resilience in an urban setting: i) effectively respond to urban disasters; ii) reinforce existing infrastructure; and iii) ensure resilient construction. In this context, the project will support to reinforce the emergency management response capacity, facilitating 68 wards with decentralized emergency response services in Dhaka and respectively 20 wards in Sylhet. Project activities also include a vulnerability assessment of critical and essential facilities in Dhaka, Sylhet and other cities that is needed for informed longer-term investments reduce risk in the built environment. The project will as well support institutional infrastructure and capacity building to reduce long-term disaster vulnerability in Dhaka, through improved construction, urban planning and development.

The Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) [USD 356.82 million (Original Credit USD 109 million + Additional Credit I USD 75 million + Additional Financing II USD 140 million +TF USD 32.82 million)] was approved by the World Bank Board on November 6, 2008. Project signed on November 23, 2008. Effective since December 24, 2008. (Original Credit: P111272, AF I: P122014, AF II: P146500)

Following Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Aila in 2009, the $356.82 million Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRRP) supports the Government of Bangladesh efforts to facilitate recovery from the damage to livelihoods and infrastructure caused by the Cyclone and aims to build long-term preparedness through strengthened disaster risk reduction and management. The project intends to restore the agriculture sector in Sidr/Aila-affected areas, improve existing multipurpose shelters and construct new shelters, support the rehabilitation of around 502 km of coastal embankments and to strengthen the capacity of the government’s disaster risk reduction management. Further, it included support to the government in coordinating all project-related activities, strategic studies for the preparation of future operations for the long-term disaster risk reduction program, and technical assistance and training, as well as providing emergency support for future disasters.

Weather and Climate Services Regional Project for Bangladesh (USD 113 million) –Approved by the World Bank Board by June 2016

Since 2016, the World Bank seeks to strengthen Bangladesh’s capacity to deliver reliable weather, water, and climate information services and improve access to such services by priority sectors and communities through the $113 million Weather and Climate Services Regional Project for Bangladesh. The project includes improvements in forecasting of weather patterns and extreme events, development and provision of agromet information services to farmer groups and plans to enhance access to early warnings for significant weather and water hazards by vulnerable communities. Through investments in monitoring systems, forecasting and services, the project will contribute to strengthening disaster preparedness and climate resilience in Bangladesh and also contributes to the development of weather based information services that are expected to support decision-making in key productive sectors in the country.