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18 June 2024

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WFP’s cash assistance reaches 30,000 Remal-hit families in Khulna, Barishal

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 01:36, 29 May 2024  
WFP’s cash assistance reaches 30,000 Remal-hit families in Khulna, Barishal

Caption: Fatema Begum, from Taltoli upazila, Barguna, received Tk 5,000 cash assistance from WFP to prepare for Cyclone Remal. Photo: © WFP/2024

Ahead of Cyclone Remal's anticipated landfall in the southern coastal regions of Bangladesh, the World Food Programme (WFP) has swiftly dispatched cash assistance to families most at risk across Khulna and Barishal Division.

A total of 30,000 families, or 150,000 people, in 11 upazilas spanning five districts—Khulna, Satkhira, Barguna, Patuakhali, and Bhola—received $43 (BDT 5,000) each earlier on Monday.

The cash, facilitated through bKash, a Bank-led Mobile Financial Service Provider partnering with WFP, will aid families in preparing for and recovering from the impending storm, WFP said in a statement on Monday.

With this assistance, families have been able to procure essential items such as food, medicines, and cattle feed. Additionally, some have utilized the funds to reinforce their homes with ropes and arrange transportation for family members to safer locations.

The cash distribution was complemented by early warning messages and evacuation support, coordinated with local government authorities in alignment with the Cyclone Preparedness Programme managed by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.

Cyclone Remal, meaning "sand" in Arabic, is the first pre-monsoon cyclone in the Bay of Bengal this season.

The Government of Bangladesh has issued cyclone signal number 10, out of a maximum of 11, indicating the severity of this storm.

This timely response is part of one of WFP's flagship programmes, Anticipatory Action (AA) for climate shocks.

With generous support from Germany, through WFP’s Anticipatory Action Trust Fund, WFP activated this support and provided forecast-based cash assistance.

"Early action saves lives. WFP has amassed years of experience in Anticipatory Action worldwide and here in Bangladesh," remarked Dom Scalpelli, WFP Bangladesh Country Director.

"Through innovative approaches like this, we will continue to assist the Government in bolstering its national emergency preparedness and enhancing the resilience of communities disproportionately impacted by climate change.”

The AA programme enables the implementation and financing of actions before an extreme weather event occurs.

These anticipatory actions aim to prevent and mitigate – to the extent possible – the effects of extreme weather on the food security and nutrition of highly vulnerable people.

Launched in 2015, WFP’s AA portfolio now includes 36 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Bangladesh, WFP, together with national and local government partners, has been supporting the development of early-warning systems and anticipatory actions for critical natural hazards such as floods, cyclones, flash flood, and heavy rainfall.