1. HCTT Background
Since 2012, the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT) has worked as a coordination platform to strengthen the collective capacity of Government, national and international actors to ensure effective humanitarian preparedness for, response to, and recovery from the impacts of disaster in Bangladesh. In 2016, the HCTT decided to find ways to improve its functionality and to revise its Terms of Reference accordingly.
In 2019, the Government of Bangladesh, through the approved revised Stranding Order on Disaster (SOD), recognized the present cluster coordination mechanism. This recognition provides the required level of predictability in terms of preparing for and responding to disasters. Indeed, given the high risk of mega-disaster in the country that would imply activation of IASC scale-up protocols, the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (RCO) and partners with the financial support of Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) are working towards aligning the current coordination mechanisms to the maximum extent with international best practices.
Accordingly, as outlined in Terms of Reference, HCTT was formed to:
a) Support and coordination of inter-agency humanitarian activities on preparedness, anticipatory response and postresponse in collaboration with national authorities.
b) Support to the mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues such as inclusion, localisation, standards, environment protection, community engagement, social cohesion and COVID-19 consideration.
The HCTT plays a crucial role in coordinating inter-agency readiness to respond to climate-related disasters, earthquakes, and fire in support of national Government preparedness efforts. The aim, ultimately, is to anticipate – not wait for – humanitarian crises.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) and the Office of the UN Resident Coordinato co-lead the HCTT. The Secretary MoDMR and UN Resident Coordinator nominated their representatives to co-chair the forum. Biannual Special HCTT meetings are chaired by Secretary and Resident Coordinator.
The second special HCTT meeting of 2021 took place on 22 August at the Grand Ball Room, Intercontinental Hotel, Dhaka. The meeting was conducted as per two objectives: firstly, to finalize the next five-year HCTT strategy for humanitariandevelopment collaboration and secondly, to get the buy-in of stakeholders on the rollout of sub-national risk analysis tools (INFORM Index), anticipatory action, and area-based Disaster Management Committee (DMC) coordination for SOD implementation. More than 59 participants from Government, UN organizations, development partners, international agencies, local and national agencies participated in the special HCTT.
Secretary MoDMR, Md. Mohsin and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Mia Seppo, co-chaired the meeting. The event was organized with the HCTT secretariate's support, represented by the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator and financial support from FCDO and ECHO.