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Private sector engagement brief: Introduction to the humanitarian coordination in Bangladesh (17th May 2022)

UNCT Bangladesh
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Disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society at any scale due to hazardous events interacting with conditions of exposure, vulnerability and capacity, leading to one or more of the following: human, material, economic and environmental losses and impacts. Disaster sometimes creates humanitarian emergency is generally defined as a large-scale “event or series of events that represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community”.

The effect of the disaster can be immediate and localized but is often widespread and could last for a long period of time. The effect may test or exceed the capacity of a community or society to cope using its own resources, and therefore may require assistance from external sources, which could include neighboring jurisdictions, or those at the national or international levels.

The scale and complexity of humanitarian emergencies are exceeding traditional response capacities. According to the Multi-Hazard Risk Analysis of Climate-Related Disasters in Bangladesh, 12.10 M annual anticipated affected people in Bangladesh each year for climate-related disasters – or 660 anticipated affected per 1,000 climate-related disasters exposed people (95% confidence) in Bangladesh in 2022. All actors – governments, the United Nations (UN), international and local humanitarian organizations, civil society, and the private sector – must be mobilized to support people in need. By working together in a coordinated way, we can significantly improve the scale and overall quality of humanitarian response.

Natural hazards can have a significant impact on the private sector, whether they are large multinational companies or local micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Crises can disrupt normal business activities, cause physical damage to premises, interrupt supply chains, and cause harm to employees. As businesses are key members of the communities in which they operate, they are often among the first responders after a crisis and play an instrumental role in a localized response. They also possess knowledge, skills, and resources which can support disaster risk management and improve the overall quality of humanitarian response complementing Government efforts.

The aim of this Brief is to provide the private sector with an overview of the humanitarian coordination in Bangladesh. The document aims to focus on the most relevant elements for companies, highlighting potential entry points for their engagement.