Bangladesh is afflicted by a multitude of natural hazards including tropical cyclones, tornadoes, tsunamis, drought, earthquakes, riverbank erosion, landslides, salinity intrusion and arsenic contamination. In an average year, roughly 10 million Bangladeshi citizens are affected by one or more such hazards, and their frequency and severity is projected to increase as a result of climate change. The impacts of these disasters are exacerbated by the fact that almost one third of the nation’s population lives below the poverty line and has little capacity to adapt.

Executive Summary

  • Bangladesh’s Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) is one of the most ambitious of its kind in a developing country.

  • Collaborative networks have enabled the CDMP to expand its operations.

  • Support from government leaders ensured that challenges to implementing the CDMP were overcome.

  • The institutionalisation of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation beyond the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management has proved slow and challenging.

  • Challenges to CDMP implementation included natural disasters, political unrest and turnover of high-level officials.