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Country’s 4 ml people displaced by disaster in 6 years

DHAKA: More than four million people of Bangladesh have been displaced by sudden onset disaster in six years from 2008 to 2013 mainly due to flood and river erosion.

“Riverbank erosion and seasonal floods displaces as many as 400,000 people each year in Bangladesh,” said a recent study conducted by Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

ActionAid Bangladesh and the NRC revealed the research report tiled Community Resilience and Disaster Related Displacement in South Asia today at function in a city hotel.

Between 2008 and 2013, the report revealed South Asia ranked second behind East Asia and the Pacific in the number of people displaced by disasters in both absolute and relative terms.

It said countries in South Asia observed effects of climate change include risks that threaten lives, food security, health and wellbeing. It all triggers displacement, it added.

The report said the scale of displacement caused by disasters is largely determined by communities’ underlying vulnerability to shocks or stresses.

“To mitigate the suffering of the displaced people Bangladesh needs to prepare communities for sudden-onset disasters and reduce risk of displacement through awareness rising and adaptation schemes,” it suggested.

Presenting the research paper Dr Dorien Braam said, “Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable areas for the displayed people. To address the issue Government should transfer more responsibilities and resources from the national government to local authorities for the displayed people”.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said displacement for disaster and climate change ought to be incorporated in the global debate. “We need a common understanding and work plan with national and international support develop a sustainable solution for the displaced people,” he said.

The Government of Bangladesh is in the forefront of finding a viable international better solution, he said.

Commenting on the research paper climate expert Dr Atiq Rahman said, “Every year we are facing lot of disaster with long term climate change impact. To mitigate the problem Bangladesh can’t solve the problem alone. We need greater a global working plan and commitment from international stakeholders to solve the problem.”

Action Aid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir said adequate resources, sufficient policies, DRR and Climate centric education and technology are the only way to address the displacement issue.

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