Assessing the efforts of NGOs in cyclone disaster management in Bangladesh
AuthorSarkar, MA Quaiyum
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Whenever disasters strike, they do not discriminate or differentiate - they cause havoc and distress. They strike countries' rich and poor affect both men and women, old and young and cause destruction leaving behind a trail of devastation and irreparable losses. When these hazards strike, the communities are the first to react, irrespective of their profession, status, cast or culture. NGO's are Non-profit organizations or associations of private citizens with a common interest to assist the disaster affected people. The role of NGOs, especially with relief and rehabilitation programs, during and after disasters is to complement governmental efforts in Bangladesh. In principle, NGOs are responsible to assist the government in implementing national programs successfully. This study aims to assess the efforts of NGOs in cyclonic disaster management in Bangladesh. Coastal belts as cyclone disaster prone areas were included mostly for analysis. Study focused on response, recovery, rehabilitation, and affected community people. CARE Bangladesh, BRAC, and Muslim Aid Bangladesh were included mainly for the study. Data were collected based on secondary sources. Both qualitative and quantitative research approach were applied for the study. The study showed that about 20% of the assistance to emergency response, recovery, and rehabilitation during 1970 cyclone disaster was ensured by NGOs both national and internationals and it was more than 40% in 1991 cyclone disasters. Role of CARE Bangladesh, BRAC, and Muslim Aid Bangladesh to SIDR disaster management especially with emergency response, recovery, and rehabilitation activities was significant. CARE Bangladesh focused its response activities in four of the most affected upazilas in Bagerhat and Barguna districts. BRAC responded to the devastation in 30 upazilas (sub-districts) of 9 cyclone-Sidr affected districts of Southern Bangladesh. Muslim Aid Bangladesh focused its response, recovery, and rehabilitation activities intensely in three of the four worst affected areas (Bagerhat, Patuakhali, and Pirojpur). Presently, NGOs are giving emphasis on work with preventive measures as a strategy of disaster risk reduction.