Press Release

Joint Statement on Field visit in flood-impacted districts

19 October 2020

International Community in Bangladesh visits districts affected by the severe floods combined with the impact of COVID-19 and urges all partners to step-up their support to ensure the quick recovery of affected communities

Representatives of the international community in Bangladesh including the Head of the European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Senior Humanitarian Advisor of the British High Commission Dhaka, the Head of Country Office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the UN Women Representative, the Programme Advisor to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Resident Coordinator – today concluded a three-day visit to the Northern districts.

“This year’s prolonged monsoon floods were a stark reminder that Bangladesh is truly at the forefront of the climate emergency. With over 5.4 million people directly affected, the impact of the 2020 monsoon floods on lives and livelihoods calls for an urgent enhancement of climate adaptation programmes for upgrading the resilience of communities and infrastructures in view of tomorrow’s more extreme and more frequent climate-related events” said Mia Seppo, United Nations Resident Coordinator.  

“Early action ahead of these climate disasters is more important than ever to support the livelihoods of some of the most resilient people in the world. Across the country, thousands of Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers are playing a critical role, working in their communities alongside Government, the UN and along with national and international organisations as climate disasters deepen the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on women, older people and those most vulnerable,” said Azmat Ulla, IFRC’s Head of Bangladesh Office.

“Anticipatory early actions, shock-responsiveness and adaptations to multiple hazards are essential to contain the impact of shocks and support early recovery.” said Jo Jacobsen, WFP Programme Advisor.

“Our visit to several flood-affected districts highlighted the remaining humanitarian and recovery needs for which urgent funding is still required, notably to support children, women, elderly and people with disabilities. Unattended, the impact of the floods -combined with those of COVID-19 - on the most vulnerable populations will have long-lasting consequences on the resilience of these communities. Humanitarian needs cannot wait, nor can recovery with ever shorter time between shocks. Development partners need to step up to ensure the most vulnerable people can cope and prosper, as well as fully participate in the recovery process” highlighted Nick Harvey of the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

“We saw the difference that focusing on women’s empowerment and gender equality makes when addressing life-saving and development needs of a community. Women have distinctive needs and our interventions should promote women’s meaningful participation in consultations, decision-making and planning processes of disaster management and response” emphasised Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Representative.   

During the visit, we have met with several local disaster management committees and civil society organisations engaged in the response. Daniela D'UrsoECHO’s Head of Office stressed on “the importance of inclusive and resourced disaster management structures at the local level in line with the Standing Orders on Disaster (SOD)”.

The UN, IFRC, ECHO and UK acknowledge that the Government of Bangladesh has strong disaster management systems in place and appreciate the opportunity of working with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and other Government agencies and partners to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the packages of support provided to the affected populations.


19 October 2020




Background:The humanitarian community is supporting Bangladesh’s national authorities in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable communities as per their responsibilities reflected in the 2019 Standing Orders on Disaster (SoD). In anticipation of the flood and in close coordination with the working group on Forecast-based Financing led by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and with the support of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), partners innovated with the implementation of a set of anticipatory actions. Considering the exceptional nature of this year’s floods, the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT) led by the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations activated its Humanitarian Preparedness and Response Plan in line with its contingency plan for climate-related disasters during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 4 August 2020, the HCTT launched a 9-month Humanitarian Response Plan which is currently 25% funded.

Joint Statement on Field visit in flood-impacted districts

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