BRAC allocates an additional $300,000 for flood relief
A grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enable BRAC to expand its emergency humanitarian aid for people affected by flooding in Bangladesh
DHAKA, BANGLADESH — 9 August 2019 — As flood water recedes from most parts of Bangladesh and tough challenges such as scarce drinking water, inadequate sanitation resources, and risk of water-bourne illness emerge, BRAC is allocating an additional $415,000 to fund post-flood relief and rehabilitation efforts. This is in addition to the nearly $60,000 that BRAC had already allocated for emergency flood response in July.
The fresh allocation is comprised of a grant of $300,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that BRAC recently received to provide emergency humanitarian aid to people affected by flooding in Bangladesh. The remaining $115,000 will come from BRAC’s internal reserves.
The funding will be used to provide multi-purpose cash transfers of BDT 4,500 per household (approximately $50) and distribute hygiene kits to reach more than 6,000 flood-affected households in four of the worst affected upazilas, or sub-districts, including Dewanganj in Jamalpur district, Chowhali in Sirajganj district, Sadar in Gaibandha district, and Chilmari in Kurigram district.
The flexible cash transfers will enable recipients to meet their immediate needs by repairing damage to homes and purchasing food, safe drinking water, educational materials, and food for livestock, while hygiene supplies will help reduce health risks such as diarrheal, skin, and eye diseases. BRAC will also use part of the allocation to repair school buildings, purchase boats for school children affected by flooding, and deploy teams of health workers in some of the most remote areas.
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extends its deep sympathy to the victims of the devastating floods in Bangladesh,” said Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer and President of Global Policy and Advocacy at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are providing this emergency grant to bolster recovery efforts, such as helping to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases and other severe health risks associated with flooding.”
BRAC launched a coordinated relief effort in mid-July less than a week after flood water began to inundate the low-lying districts in the north of the country. More than a thousand relief workers, including those from BRAC’s Upazila Disaster Management Teams (UDMTs), were rapidly deployed, with initial efforts reaching over 14,000 households in 36 of the most impacted upazilas across 13 districts with food and cash packages, safe drinking water, and the installation of toilets, tube wells, and bathing cubicles.
“Post-flood rehabilitation is no less challenging than during-flood operations, considering the shortage of work and drinking water and risk of disease outbreaks. Another big challenge is to cover those who were left out in the first phase. As this year’s flood is already labelled as one of the worst in recent years, everyone with the means must come forward to join the relief efforts,” said Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh.
The new allocation will help expand the response to cover households that are led by women; have elderly, pregnant, or disabled family members; or which have lost all of their assets. Priority is being given to the upazilas that have experienced extremely severe flooding, feature a high proportion of affected households, or have not received adequate levels of aid already. The BRAC Humanitarian Program (BHP) has been closely monitoring the situation and coordinating all its efforts with local government and administrative offices and other relevant stakeholders.
The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has contributed to BRAC’s disaster response efforts in Bangladesh several times in the last 12 years, starting with Cyclone Sidr in 2007.
To learn more about BRAC’s flood response, visit response.brac.net/flood-2019.
Notes to the Editor
BRAC is a global leader in developing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based programs to assist the most marginalized people in extremely poor, conflict-prone, and post-disaster settings. These include initiatives in education, healthcare, microfinance, women and girls’ empowerment, agriculture, human and legal rights, and more. BRAC’s vision is a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential. Founded in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC acts as a catalyst, creating opportunities for people to transform their lives. BRAC employs about 100,000 people in 11 countries, with a total global expenditure of more than $1 billion. More than 75% percent of its budget in Bangladesh is self-financed through its social enterprises. Learn more at brac.net.
Matt Kertman, Senior Manager for Communications
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