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Bangladesh: Cyclone Komen Emergency Appeal Operations Update n°2 (MDRBD015)

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The operation is in its third month and continues to support the affected vulnerable families in food security, emergency shelter and water and sanitation (WatSan) sectors. In addition, the operation also has a component on awareness and advocacy on disaster risk reduction (DRR) for the affected communities which will be initiated in December 2015.

The Cyclone Komen made landfall on 30 July, weakening as it moved slightly towards the northeast. Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Bandarban, Noakhali, Feni and Bhola districts were significantly affected. The regions were already affected by the previous flash floods and landslides which had started at the end of June 2015. At least 7 people (2 of them children) were reported to have lost their lives, 38 people have been reported missing, in addition to the number of people that were injured during the cyclone. The Government district level ‘D-form’ data immediately after the disaster indicated many houses were flattened or went under water, trees uprooted, power supplies were disrupted, and communication systems ceased to operate in some places. Crops were damaged and shrimp projects flooded. Due to the impact of the cyclonic storm “Komen”, heavy to very heavy rainfall was active all over the country and many areas of the southern Bangladesh were inundated which includes most of the areas affected by the first spell of flooding. Consequently the lives and livelihoods of the people of those areas further worsened.

A Need Assessment Working Group (NAWG) was formed to identify the damage and needs of all these areas affected by the Cyclone Komen and subsequent flooding. This assessment was commissioned by the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT) and has covered ten districts. The cumulative effect of the floods Emergency appeal operations update Bangladesh: Cyclone Komen 2 | P a g e followed by Cyclone Komen increased the affected population to 2.6 million people. The impact of these events will be felt most acutely by the extreme poor1 . It is estimated that 218,665 people (57,774 households) fall within this demographic. The HCTT also produced a Joint Response Plan (JRP) based on the assessments undertook in different stages. The JRP has proposed immediate to longer term response strategy as well as the packages based on the inputs from different clusters, mainly Food Security, Shelter, WASH and Early Recovery clusters. This EA has been designed in line with the JRP strategy and has maintained a good coordination with the National humanitarian stakeholders. The Government has already responded during the first few weeks of the disaster with rice and cash in many of the affected areas while a number of humanitarian organizations and UN agencies had responded with food assistance, health and WASH relief. Humanitarian donors like DG-ECHO and DfID has mobilized funds to its partner INGOs to support the response in line with the JRP.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) requested support from the IFRC via the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 11 August 2015 to support 3,000 families in the five districts of Chittagong,
Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar, Feni and Noakhali with the provision of unconditional cash grant primarily to meet their food needs for one month. In addition to that, BDRCS provided from its Disaster Preparedness stocks 3,000 tarpaulins, 30,000 packets of ORS and installed two mobile water treatment plants to address the emergency needs of the affected population. Within three weeks of the start of the operation, BDRCS completed the distribution of its first phase of unconditional cash grant, 3,000 BDT/person and one tarpaulin to each 3,000 families.

Subsequently, on 24 August 2015, an Emergency Appeal (EA) was launched to support a total of 6,500 affected families to address their Food, WASH, Livelihood and Emergency Shelter needs. Out of these 6,500 families, the EA has targeted 4,000 families to support with cash grant for food, and emergency shelter through tarpaulin.

Support for an addition 2,000 families has been planned through safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. Apart from these 500 families will be supported through livelihood cash grant in a later stage of the operation.

As of now, 3,000 families have been reached in the first phase with cash grant, 3,000 BDT/person, and one tarpaulin. This represents 75 per cent of total targeted beneficiaries for food and shelter. 2,239 families have received second phase unconditional cash grant support, which represents 56 per cent of total targeted families under the same category.

During this reporting period, BDRCS has signed an agreement with one of the mobile money transfer agency named ‘bKash’. BDRCS is now planning to pilot cash transfer for 100 families in Chittagong district using the bKash wallet.

Part of the effort to ensure beneficiary engagement and accountability, BDRCS has established a Complaints and Response Mechanism (CRM) to enable the beneficiaries to offer valuable feedbacks on the goods and services delivered, and enable the field staff to take necessary and timely actions. Mobile technology based survey utilizing the RAMP2 (Rapid Assessment through Mobile Phone) has been introduced in the operation for the beneficiary identification and selection process. The National Disaster Response Team (NDRT) members and the RC youth volunteers were involved during the RAMP survey with support from the IFRC and BDRCS NHQ staff. The survey provided baseline information of the targeted beneficiaries in a systematic way, and minimized time, cost and inconsistency in data collection. RAMP has also been used for the post distribution monitoring.

As of now, the Appeal coverage is CHF 373,281 (or 44 per cent). Support to the Appeal includes pledges from Canadian Red Cross Society, Japanese Red Cross Society, American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross and Monaco Red Cross Society. Partners and donors are encouraged to contribute the current funding gap of CHF 483,643. Click here for the latest donor response list.

While BDRCS and IFRC as well as the other humanitarian partners are dealing with the cyclone Komen and flooding in the South Eastern part of Bangladesh, the North and Central part (different from the operational area for Cyclone Komen) of Bangladesh was experiencing flooding since the last week of August 2015. An Aerial Survey was conducted on 30 August in the Northern districts to observe the flooding situation and the potential damage on housing, agriculture, and infrastructure and to map of the scale of displacement. Floods have caused extensive damage to crops in different parts of the country. BDRCS provided BDT 50,000 for dry/cooked food distribution purpose in each of the 13 affected RC Districts Units in north and central part. Apart from these, the joint response of BDRCS supported from the IFRC, German RC, Swiss RC and Turkish RC has assisted 2,500 families in ten districts during this reporting period.