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December 23, 2019

Supporting vulnerable women in Bangladesh following Cyclone Bulbul


Supporting vulnerable women in Bangladesh following Cyclone Bulbul

24 people were killed and two million people were displaced when Cyclone Bulbul barrelled into Bangladesh and India on 09-10 November 2019.

The cyclone stayed in Bangladesh for approximately 36 hours, one of the longest enduring cyclones the country has faced in more than five decades. It affected 13 southern districts damaging around 5,000 houses. The areas were impacted by high wind speed, tidal surge with storm wind and heavy precipitation in southern coastal districts and high winds and heavy precipitation over the southwestern districts of Bangladesh. Large number of trees were uprooted, thatched houses were damaged and electricity cut off in the area.

World Jewish Relief, with our local partner AVAS, are providing a response targeted at women who have been made particularly vulnerable in the aftermath of the cyclone.

Following the cyclone, families have found themselves with no crops, seeds,  livestock nor any items to help them survive. There is also no further government assistance being provided. This issue particularly disadvantages women because many of them depend on their agricultural inputs to survive and the majority of men are fishermen. Without these agricultural inputs therefore there is a risk that families will look for coping mechanisms that include adolescent girls to have early marriages as a way of trying to bring some income to the family or internal migration in search of livelihoods, which places young women in danger of being trafficked or enslaved.

To reduce these risks, this programme will be targeting specifically Female headed households that have adolescent or young women in their household or that have other vulnerabilities like elderly members of the family or family members with disabilities.  The project will support 320 women and their families with conditional cash transfers to restock goats and poultry as well to acquired winter vegetables seeds packages. This will also be accompanied of awareness raising and orientation sessions on health and hygiene as well as agricultural technical advice on livestock rearing and ‘Kitchen Garden’ methods.