Press Release

UN Agencies provide $6.2 million in anticipatory cash and assistance to vulnerable communities ahead of anticipated flooding in Bangladesh

07 July 2024

The United Nations Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) grants funding of $US6.2 million to 400,000 vulnerable people in five districts of Jamuna Basin through the Anticipatory Action initiative.

Photo: © WFP/2024

The anticipatory action trigger for floods in the Jamuna River basin in Bangladesh have been reached, and the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) promptly disbursed $US6.2 million to support the most vulnerable families mitigate the impact of the floods. The pre-arranged funds were provided to four UN Agencies: The Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Food Programme (WFP)  to  reach people before the forecasted floods occur. 

By using early warning systems and scientific advances in disaster prediction, this CERF  enabled implementing partners to reach 400,000 people in the northern Bangladesh districts of Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogura and Sirajganj, including 92,089 men, 127,290 women, 159,121 children and 6,045 people with disabilities before the flooding occurred. Each of the 80,000 households will receive anticipatory multi-purpose cash transfers, water purification supplies, agricultural support, dignity & baby kits, and information services on gender-based violence.

Anticipatory Action is a proactive approach to disaster management that enables the implementation and financing of actions before an extreme weather event occurs, helping families to safeguard their homes and income and ensure food security before and after the crisis. This anticipatory grant targets vulnerable community members, including people with disabilities, transgender people, women, children, and households in the low-lying char (riverine island) areas who face an elevated risk of food insecurity and malnutrition, and protection issues due to existing poverty and marginalization. 

This is the second time that Anticipatory Action has been used in Bangladesh. The initiative was launched based on predictions by UN experts, forecasting that continued monsoon rainfall will lead to water levels along the Jamuna and other tributaries increasing significantly by mid-July, causing destructive floods. The allocation emphasizes the participation of both implementing agencies and affected communities to ensure that the chosen activities reflect priorities, respond to urgent life-saving needs, and improve resilience through various forms of support. 

The UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, Ms. Gwyn Lewis, welcomed the timely disbursal of funding: “Anticipatory Action can significantly reduce the impact of disasters on families and support a faster recovery. By providing support before a disaster hits, vulnerable communities have the financial resources in hand to cope with floods and cyclones that are growing in frequency and intensity. Families are empowered to make their own decisions on how best to protect their homes and livelihoods and therefore they can better safeguard what is important, contributing to building resilience before the next cyclone or flood hits. ”

Historically, UN agencies have worked closely with the Government of Bangladesh to respond to floods and cyclones, providing timely responses where the needs are highest. However, in the face of vulnerabilities created by climate change and other external factors, preventive efforts like Anticipatory Action are growing in importance.

Through the current Anticipatory Action grant, FAO will support agriculture by providing livestock feed and grain storage silos to 11,310 farmers in the region. The grant will help vulnerable farmers protect their livelihoods and assets ahead of impending flood damage.

WFP will provide multipurpose cash assistance to 75,700 families to help them meet their basic food, nutrition and other essential needs and help deter people from adopting negative coping strategies such as eating less, skipping meals, or taking on debts. 

Photo: © WFP/2024

UNICEF will ensure safe drinking water by making mobile treatment plant units available at evacuation points and shelters. Additionally, they will distribute water jerry cans and purification tablets to 110,000 people. UNICEF will also disseminate messages on early warning and good hygiene through community-based communication campaigns to minimize the risk of waterborne diseases among the affected population.

Photo: © UNICEF Bangladesh/2024

UNFPA will target 18,729 women, adolescent girls, and transgender people to provide quality services & goods to address gender-based violence, reduce maternal mortality and manage menstrual health. 

Photo: © UNFPA Bangladesh 2024


This Anticipatory Action allocation is supported by the CERF Climate Action Account. 

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.

Learn more about the Anticipatory Action  Framework in Bangladesh:



For more information and media enquiries, please contact: Anahita Ahmed, Public Information Officer, United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office;



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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