accessibility & help

How the Red Cross supports people across Bangladesh

Coasts: helping people to help their communities

Since 2012 the British Red Cross and our partners at the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society have been training people in 57 communities in three coastal districts. By the end of 2017, nearly 138,000 people will be able to assess, monitor and manage the risks from cyclones and other disasters.

To ensure that people can benefit for years to come, the programme:

  • sets up and trains 57 community committees to prepare for disasters including analysing and acting on risks
  • builds systems to help people continue working after the damage caused by disasters
  • work with more than 100 schools to help teachers and students learn the importance of clean water and hygiene as well as how to stay safe when disasters hit
  • works with local and national institutions to plan for and manage disasters .

The programme also helps to improve water supplies and sanitation facilities to help people stay healthy in times of disaster and calm alike.

Support for thousands of city-dwellers

Barisal city’s geography gives it unique challenges. A major port, it is prone to cyclones, is crossed by canals and lies in the flood plains of several major rivers. Many people from rural areas move there every year and thousands of families live in areas at risk of flooding.

We work with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to help 25,000 people in ten slum areas cope when floods strike. The project supports our partner to:

  • prepare for emergencies so it can provide humanitarian aid quickly and effectively during disasters
  • work with at least 10 schools to help teachers and students learn the importance of clean water and hygiene as well as how to stay safe when disasters hit
  • promote disaster management and planning with local and national institutions.

The Red Cross also supports people to gain new skills to earn a living. Helping people in slum areas to find work can increase their ability to cope during crises and at other times.

We focus on building employment skills that also help with health challenges. For example, people learn how to build and sell environmentally friendly stoves. Traditional birth attendants also have the opportunity to train and work with existing health services.

Rural areas: preparing for disasters

Kurigram district in the north of Bangladesh is one of the country’s poorest regions. Its people are mostly farmers but climate change makes the rainfall they depend on unpredictable. Flooding can also be a problem. 

Women and children may be particularly vulnerable in disasters because their access to services is not as good as men’s. If they don’t work outside the home it is also harder for them to recover afterwards.

The Red Cross helps 100,000 of the most vulnerable people in 30 communities to:

  • gain knowledge and skills to manage risks from natural disasters
  • promote disaster management and planning in local and national institutions
  • work with at least 40 schools to help teachers and students learn the importance of clean water and hygiene as well as how to stay safe when disasters hit.

Through a Red Cross water and sanitation project in the same communities, people will get better access to clean water and hygienic latrines. They will also learn about the connection between hygiene and good health.

Find out more about our work in Bangladesh.