Disaster management skills help Bangladesh to tackle COVID-19

New Age . Online Desk | Published: 13:59, Jul 09,2020


Rabab Fatima, permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations. -- Press Release photo

As a climate vulnerable country with recurring disasters, Bangladesh had learnt the importance of disaster management, community engagement and institutional capacity building which helped the country to tackle COVID-19 pandemic, said ambassador Rabab Fatima, permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations on Wednesday.

She came up with the remark while addressing a virtual High Level Political Forum side event on Adaptation and Resilience in a post-COVID World: Transformative, Inclusive and Locally-led Climate Policy and Action in New York.

The event, co-hosted by the Netherlands, Ireland, Kenya, Bhutan and Bangladesh in collaboration with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, was attended by vice-minister of the Netherlands Roald Lapperre, permanent observer and head of delegation of IFRC Richard Blewitt, Saleemul Huq, director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development and a member of the advisory panel of Climate Vulnerable Forum, and representatives of different Missions in New York, UN agencies and CSOs.

Terming both the COVID-19 and climate change as invincible threats to lives, livelihoods, and development, particularly for countries with pre-existing vulnerabilities, ambassador Fatima observed that global preparedness and actions were woefully inadequate to tackle health and climate emergencies.

Ambassador Fatima referred to prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s  ‘whole of society’ approach in adaptation and resilience building where women, youth and the local communities are central to all government initiatives for combating climate, health and other emergencies.

She also urged the development partners, donors and the private sector to come forward to help the vulnerable countries to recover from the post-COVID situation by providing additional financial and technological support. 

The vice-minister of the Netherlands opined that the COVID-19 recovery plans must be comprehensive and should complement climate actions to create stronger resilience against any future shock or calamities.

Saleemul Haq highlighted the importance of more vigorous efforts to address the existing gaps in the global endeavours for adaptation and resilience building and opined that the needs and challenges of the local communities must be taken into consideration by the policy-makers.

Panelists at the discussion praised Bangladesh’s success in crisis management and resilience building.

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