Press Release

UN starts implementing CERF-funded activities in cyclone-affected areas of Bangladesh

23 June 2024

DHAKA, 24 June 2024 

Photo: © UNICEF Bangladesh/2024

The United Nations in Bangladesh has commenced scaling up life-saving activities in regions affected by Cyclone Remal, following the approval of US$ 7.5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) on 3 June 2024. 

Cyclone Remal made landfall on 26 May, causing severe damage across multiple districts including Khulna, Barguna, Patuakhali, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Bhola, and Pirojpur. The CERF allocation will target approximately 650,000 people in these seven cyclone-affected districts. The funds will help to implement the recently launched Cyclone Remal Response Plan, which calls for $53 million to support over 784,000 people, focusing on the most vulnerable groups, including 254,000 women, 288,000 children and 12,000 people with disabilities. Under CERF's rapid response window, the interventions will be implemented by four UN agencies operating in Bangladesh – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Welcoming the start of the implementation of CERF-funded activities, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, Gwyn Lewis, said, “We are grateful for this fund allocation, which brings a much-needed boost to the assistance provided for vulnerable communities that are struggling to access services and facing extensive loss of livelihoods. In close consultation with the Government of Bangladesh, civil society organizations and humanitarian partners, UN agencies will focus on supporting life-saving relief activities and livelihoods as communities recover from yet another natural disaster.” 

With the CERF funds, FAO intends to target the most affected districts with agricultural support for livestock farmers. Food security and agricultural assistance will also be provided to enable farmers to resume crop production. About 10,800 households are targeted to receive livestock feed, livelihood grants and storage silos in the affected areas.

UNFPA’s interventions will seek to ensure quality service provision to address gender-based violence, reduce maternal mortality and address challenges in the menstrual health of adolescent girls. UNFPA will target 15,920 women and adolescent girls including 800 pregnant women and 300 persons (100 women and 200 adolescent girls) with disabilities.

UNICEF is prioritizing lifesaving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and primary health interventions to assist 300,000 individuals. The WASH interventions include distribution of non-food WASH kits, deployment of mobile water treatment plants, hygiene promotion activities and replacement/restoration/renovation of WASH facilities, including basic health facilities. Health interventions include maternal and newborn, child and adolescent health (MNCAH) services, and immunization of children between 0-11 months old as well as children in hard-to-reach areas. Multi-purpose cash grants will be provided to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, adolescent mothers and people with disabilities.

WFP is providing food and cash assistance to 74,742 households to help them meet their basic food, nutrition, and other essential needs. The interventions will include unconditional cash-based food assistance and cash for work (CFW) support. The CFW will help communities restore livelihoods and repair damaged agricultural infrastructure and target members from households facing difficulty recovering, adopting negative coping strategies, or lacking the means to restore livelihoods on their own.

Cyclone Remal spanned an area of four hundred square kilometers and caused storm surges of 8 to 12 feet above normal levels. Within hours, it displaced 800,000 people. While effective rapid evacuation to nine thousand shelters helped to save many, 16 people lost their lives and an estimated 4.6 million people, particularly in Barguna, Bhola, Pirojpur, Satkhira, Patuakhali, Bagerhat, Barisal and Khulna districts were affected. A total of 434,000 people are in urgent need of health services, access to safe drinking water, shelter, food, and livelihood support. The affected population also includes 46,000 children under the age of five and 10,000 pregnant women. More than half a million farmers were affected by damage to crops worth US$ 90.7 million over 62,783 hectares of land.

Climate change is intensifying the impact of cyclones in Bangladesh, with rising sea levels, deforestation and salinization all contributing to compound the impact on some of the poorest households in the country. 

“The cyclone season for 2024 is not yet over, and these same communities will face threats from cyclones, storms and flooding year after year,” said Ms. Lewis. “While we work to help the families and communities affected by Remal, the United Nations continues to lend its support to mitigating the effects of climate change longer term. Supporting the Government to implement the National Adaptation Plan and scale up financing for climate initiatives are major priorities for the UN in Bangladesh.” 


The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and enables humanitarian agencies to deliver immediate life-saving assistance in crises worldwide. For more information on CERF visit the CERF official website. For the latest funding updates, visit the OCHA Financial Tracking Service.


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Anahita Ahmed

Public Information Officer United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) & Communications Lead, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh

UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Food Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative