Bangladesh: Joint Readiness Before Disaster Strikes
By Dialogo October 01, 2011
Buildings destroyed by the massive magnitude-9.0 earthquake in Japan in March 2011 show the powerful force of nature. The devastating earthquakes in Indonesia, Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, Japan and India proved to be hard lessons learned, and militaries worldwide are organizing to respond to natural disasters.
Nearly 50 participants from the United States, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Indonesia and the Philippines, personnel from embassies in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka, and more than 200 members from the Bangladesh Armed Services and civil agencies attended the first Regional Earthquake Response Seminar in Dhaka in May 2011.
Like other countries in the region, effective disaster preparedness is especially important in Bangladesh because it is exposed to significant flood, cyclone and earthquake activity, according to the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN). Additionally, HPN notes that the widespread poverty – 60 percent of the Bangladesh population lives below the poverty line – further limits the ability of people and communities to protect themselves and their assets against disaster.
To offset these factors, a core working group was formed in Bangladesh to establish a framework of capabilities for regional disaster response support among the countries of South Asia.
Sources: U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Humanitarian Practice Network