Bangladesh

Active Projects: 4

GDP (current US$): 221.41 billion (2016)

Population: 162.95 million (2016)

Major Partners

World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 

INFORM Risk Rating: 5.8

Risk data from INFORM, a global open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters, uses a scale from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of risk.

Primary Hazards

Context

Hazard Risk 

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to cyclones and floods, particularly in the country’s coastal areas. Cyclones and associated storm surges and floods have led to almost all of the nearly 520,000 natural disaster deaths recorded over the past 40 years. These events also have the potential to cause significant economic damage. Cyclone Sidr in 2007 cost an estimated $1.7 billion in damages and losses according to a GFDRRsupported post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA). The country’s extreme vulnerability to hydro-meteorological hazards, including storm-induced tidal flooding, is likely to increase as a result of climate change.  

Bangladesh is also located in a seismically active and high-risk region. Dhaka, a fast-growing urban center, is one of the 20 cities most vulnerable to earthquakes in the world. High population density, compounded by rapid and unplanned urbanization, have increased vulnerability to seismic risks. 

National Priorities  

The Government of Bangladesh has taken significant steps to strengthen disaster risk management (DRM) efforts. These include: 

  • Endorsing the DRM Act (2012), which outlines the country’s legal framework for disaster management; and  
  • Mainstreaming DRM into a number of development plans, including the National Sustainable Development Strategy (2010-2021). This strategy recommends increased and cross-cutting investment in DRM.  

With its proactive hydrological policies and programs, such as the 2007 Emergency Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project, Bangladesh is often cited globally as a positive example for investment in DRM. In contrast, managing seismic risk has not been a government priority, in part because the threat of earthquakes is less visible and harder to predict.  

To further advance the DRM agenda, priorities include:  

  • Ensuring that all sectoral investments take into account resilience to climate change and natural disasters; and, 
  • Increasing the resilience of the population to natural hazards in urban and coastal areas. This includes strengthening systems to reduce the vulnerability of future construction projects to disasters. 
GFDRR progress to date

GFDRR has helped enable DRM efforts in Bangladesh since 2007. The majority of support has been focused on post-disaster reconstruction and risk reduction following 2007’s Cyclone Sidr, as well as building urban resilience to seismic risk. 

GFDRR supported a PDNA following Cyclone Sidr, which identified priority areas for recovery reconstruction and led to new World Bank projects, some of which were backed by GFDRR’s financial and technical support. One project with $109 million in World Bank financing is helping the Government of Bangladesh facilitate restoration and recovery for livelihoods and damaged infrastructure. Another project with $375 million in World Bank financing is reducing future risk by improving coastal embankments.   

GFDRR has also collaborated with the Government of Bangladesh to build urban resilience in Dhaka and Sylhet. Launched in 2012, the project has raised awareness of seismic risk through a participatory approach that ensures risk ownership amongst government officials and decision makers. Activities included the development of a GEODASH platform for managing and visualizing hazard and vulnerability data and contributions towards a Risk Management Master Plan for Dhaka as well as a National Earthquake and Risk Strategy. The project has improved emergency management systems and equipment and enhanced building construction, design, permitting, and oversight systems for government agencies. It has also informed $170 million in investment financing under the Bangladesh Urban Resilience Project, which will continue to strengthen government capacity for emergency response and vulnerability reduction. 

GFDRR anticipates continued demand for support from the Government of Bangladesh in the following areas: 

  • Ongoing initiatives in disaster risk financing and insurance;  
  • Ongoing initiatives for managing the impact of climate changing on coastal areas, including storm surges and saline intrusion;  
  • Strengthening urban resilience to floods and seismic risks in priority infrastructure sectors; and,  
  • Developing climatic hazard maps at the sub-district level in flood, saline, and drought prone areas.  

Projects Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

Project Description
Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program in Bangladesh
$272,925 10/2014 - 12/2016

The project objective is to employ innovative risk financing techniques in order to: i) assess the fiscal disaster risk of the country and develop a Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Program (DRFI); and ii) support the development of a series of financial protection instruments to increase resilience to major disaster events. This will include an earthquake catastrophe insurance pool that will incentivize safer building practice in the public and private sectors. By providing the market infrastructure and risk transfer mechanisms necessary, the project will support financial resilience and incentivize safe building construction.
This project will identify a DRFI strategy that will complement the investment lending program to improve urban resilience in Dhaka. This will be accomplished through the development of instruments to improve financial protection and promote seismic resilient building construction.

Bangladesh Urban Earthquake Resilience Project - Phase II
$898,115 10/2013 - 06/2017

The objective of the project is to build on the enabling environment established in the first phase of the Urban Earthquake Resilience Project to support the establishment of sector specific seismic resilience strategies for slums, water and sanitation, and emergency management. The outcomes of the project will be three-fold, including: i) a functional working group for land use planning convening all actors in Dhaka; ii) consensus across the Government of Bangladesh on roles and responsibilities; and iii) a web-based risk earthquake hazard and vulnerability assessment for Dhaka. The outputs to be delivered to achieve these outcomes include: i) a Dhaka City Risk Profile; ii) a Legal and Institutional Recommendations Guidebook; iii)a Risk Sensitive Land Use and Re-Development Model; and iv) Guidelines for specific sectoral planning and investment, including shelter and livelihoods, emergency management systems, and education and health.

Bangladesh Urban Earthquake Resilience Project - Phase I
$1,750,360 02/2012 - 12/2016

The objective of the project is to establish an enabling environment required to create a dynamic national earthquake resilience strategy in Bangladesh. The project aims to build the foundation for a multi-year participatory process leading to the development of decision making tools required for mitigating the impact of earthquake hazards through structural and non-structural vulnerability reduction. This will include: i) the operationalization of working groups that will mobilize resources and implement the program; ii) the digitization of earthquake exposure and vulnerability data; and, iii) the establishment of an information, education, and communication program. Building on the foundation created, a first phase of earthquake mitigation elements are planned. This includes: i) an earthquake hazard, vulnerability, and risk analysis; ii) an assessment of legal and institutional arrangements; and, iii) initiating development processes for a guide to incorporate earthquake risk management into land use planning.

Capacity Building for Managing Storm Surge, Saline Intrusion and Climate Change in Coastal Bangladesh
$199,413 02/2014 - 12/2016

The project aims to build the institutional capacity of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) to mitigate the impact of storm surges and salt water intrusion in coastal polders. This project will support implementation of a $400 million World Bank financed Coastal Embankment and Improvement Project. The objective is to develop a comprehensive approach to managing these risks through a structured process of knowledge development, education, and planning. This grant will develop a comprehensive coastal embankment management strategy with climate change risk as its center piece. Key outcomes will be: i) operationalization of a team within BWDB that will lead design and management of coastal embankment protection systems; ii) training of BWDB engineers and project managers in storm surge and salt water intrusion protection; and iii) technical reviews and analysis of storm surge and salt water intrusion hazard, exposure, and vulnerability.

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
Bangladesh Regional Waterway Transport Project $360 million | Start date: 2016-11 (ongoing)

The development objective of the project is to improve inland water transport efficiency and safety for passengers and cargo along the Chittagong-Dhaka-Ashuganj Regional Corridor and to enhance sector sustainability.

Bangladesh Weather and Climate Services Regional Project $113 million | Start date: 2016-11 (ongoing)

The development objective of this project is to strengthen Government of Bangladesh's capacity to deliver reliable weather, water, and climate information services and improve access to such services by priority sectors and communities. This will be done by strengthening hydro-meteorological monitoring and forecasting, and service delivery related to water, agriculture, and multi-hazard disaster risk management early warning systems at the national level, while laying the foundation for strengthening resilience at the regional level.

Low Income Community Housing Support Project $50 million | Start date: 2016-11 (ongoing)

The project development objective is to improve shelter and living conditions in selected low income and informal settlements in designated municipalities in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Urban Resilience Project $173 million | Start date: 2015-11 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to strengthen the capacity of 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.

Bangladesh National Agricultural Technology Program - Phase II Project $176.06 million | Start date: 2015-11 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to increase the agricultural productivity of smallholder farms and improve smallholder farmers' access to markets in selected districts.

Bangladesh Multipurpose Disaster Shelter Project $375 million | Start date: 2015-11 (Ongoing)

The development objective of this project is to reduce the vulnerability of the coastal population to natural disasters across selected coastal districts of Bangladesh.

Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project-- Additional Financing II $140 million | Start date: 2014-11 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to support the government's efforts to facilitate restoration and recovery from the damage to livelihoods and infrastructure caused by cyclone Sidr and to build long-term preparedness through strengthened disaster risk management.

Bangladesh Modern Food Storage Facilities Project $210 million | Start date: 2014-11 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to increase the grain reserve available to households to meet their post-disaster needs and improve the efficiency of grain storage management.

National Agricultural Technology Project - Additional Financing $23.72 million | Start date: 2014-4 (Ongoing)

The objective of the project is to improve to improve the effectiveness of the national agricultural technology system in Bangladesh. This restructuring will bring the following changes: (a) revision of the project development objective; (b) triggering of new safeguard policies; (c) up-grading of the environmental category from C to B; (d) reallocation of credit proceeds; and (e) the addition of grant financing.

Municipal Governance and Services Project $410 million | Start date: 2014-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to improve municipal governance and basic urban services in participating Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), and to improve the Recipients capacity to respond promptly and effectively to an Eligible Crisis or Emergency.

Bangladesh Leveraging ICT Growth, Employment, and Governance Project $70 million | Start date: 2013-11 (Ongoing)

The project development objectives are to (i) catalyze the growth of Bangladesh’s IT and IT-Enabled Services industry for employment creation and export diversification; and (ii)establish basic e-Government foundations to support public sector modernization.

Second Rural Transport Improvement Project $302 million | Start date: 2013-11 (Ongoing)

The proposed project development objective is: To improve rural accessibility in project areas (covering 26 districts) and strengthen institutional capacity for sustainable rural road maintenance.

Bangladesh Safety Net Systems for the Poorest Project $500 million | Start date: 2013-11 (Ongoing)

The project development objective is to improve the equity, efficiency and transparency of major social safety net programs to benefit the poorest households.

Bangladesh Coastal Embankment Improvement Project Phase I $375 million | Start date: 2013-11 (ongoing)

The project development objectives are to: (i) increase the area protected in selected polders from tidal flooding and frequent storm surges, which are expected to worsen due to climate change; (ii) improve agricultural production by reducing saline water intrusion in selected polders; and (iii) improve the Government of Bangladesh's capacity to respond promptly and effectively to an eligible crisis or emergency

Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project $35 million | Start date: 2013-4 (Closed)

The project seeks the following: (i) inclusion of training in cost category in the Grant Agreement (to be consistent with the other section of the grant Agreement and PAD); and (ii) revision to the definition of the operating cost to take into account - (a) repair and maintenance of office building including furniture exclusively to be used by Project; and (b) repair and maintenance of Project equipment.

Community Climate Change Project $12.5 million | Start date: 2013-4 (Closed)

The project development objective is to enhance the capacity of selected communities to increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project $75 million | Start date: 2012-4 (Ongoing)

The project development objectives are to: (a) increase provision of safe water supply and hygienic sanitation in the rural areas of Bangladesh, where shallow aquifers are highly contaminated by arsenic and other pollutants such as salinity, iron, and bacterial pathogens; and (b) facilitate early emergency response.

Bangladesh Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project $63.55 million | Start date: 2012-4 (Closed)

The project development objective is to enhance the productivity of agriculture in pilot areas. The project aims to increase this in agro-ecologically constrained areas by strengthening key aspects impacting agricultural production.

Bangladesh Insurance Sector Development Project $65 million | Start date: 2017-3 (Ongoing)

The development objective of the Insurance Sector Development Project for Bangladesh is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the regulator and state owned insurance corporations and increase the coverage of insurance in Bangladesh.

Health Sector Support Project $500 million | Start date: 2017-7 (Ongoing)

The objective of the Health Sector Support Project for Bangladesh is to strengthen the health, nutrition and population sector's core management systems and delivery of essential health, nutrition, and population services with a focus on selected geographical areas.