Bangladesh

Our work here focuses on disaster preparedness, climate changes, democracy, women’s rights and protecting migrants.

Nepal/Indien/bangladesh

Country Director
David Wallace Smith 
Mail: dasm@dca.dk  
Mobile: +977 9851152163

DanChurchAid 
Ward No-2, Lalitpur Municipality 
GPO Box 4844 
Jhamshikhel, LalitpurKathmandu, Nepal 
Phone: +977 1 50 13 550/505

DCA in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the poorest and most populous countries in the world.

The country is inhabited by over 150 million people and almost one third live below the poverty line.

It is a magnet for catastrophes and every year, about a third of the country is flooded due to monsoon rains. It is predicted by the Bangladeshi government that, before 2040, southern Bangladesh will be flooded and 40 million inhabitants will be homeless.

The primary industry in Bangladesh is agriculture, but every year, about a third of the country is flooded due to monsoon rains. It is difficult to grow crops and to fish during these periods, and the drinking water is polluted by saltwater that pours into the wells. The inhabitants lose their houses and are forced to build new ones. Furthermore, a great part of the male population must work in the larger cities to earn money for food.

However, the country is nearly self-sufficient as regards foodstuffs. The land is very fertile, and they grow rice, tea and jute.

DanChurchAid supports our partners in Bangladesh who, among other things, educate the poor in an attempt to improve their knowledge of agricultural work. A significant part of this effort is also focused on getting villagers to unionize and stand together in civil associations and women’s groups instead of trying to make it on their own.

Activities in Bangladesh

Inclusive citizenship and accountable governance

Inclusive citizenship and accountable governance

DCA believes that it is inherent to the dignity of every human being to be able to enjoy one’s equal right to participate in and influence developments within one’s community and country. This should be regardless of one’s religion, gender, ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation etc. DCA’s overall policy goal is that poor women, men and representatives of civil society organizations enjoy their equal right to participate and encourage democratic, inclusive and accountable governance for equitable development. We emphasize on participation, freedom of association, assembly, expression and right to information.

Discrimination as the core issue
Our programme involves engagement of poor men and women in decision-making structures and the electoral process at the local level. However, discrimination continues to be the core issue. The focus is on building partner capacity on strategic advocacy and skills in political as well as power analysis.

The programme has focused on the specific social, economic, religious and cultural discrimination that exist in the region and the groups that perpetrate and suffer from them.

Targeted towards Dalits and minorities
During the course of the programme, the work has focused predominantly on Dalits and minorities with limited engagement with Adivasis.

There has been a consistent emphasis on gender, especially around issues of mobilization, leadership and violence.

The programme focuses on legal intervention, organizes around central issues, expands human rights education and democratic space for minorities, as well as advocates and lobbies on civil and economic rights of discriminated groups. All of this is done within the framework of the constitution of the respective countries and its range of progressive and inclusive legislation.

Resilient livelihoods and sustainable food security

Resilient livelihoods and sustainable food security

DCA’s regional programme on Resilient Livelihood and Sustainable Food Security (RLSFS) in South Asia represents the second phase of our former Right to Food (RtF) programme and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programme. It is currently being implemented through various partners in Nepal, India and Bangladesh under a five-year programme cycle (2013-17).

The merging of programmes
This holistic merged strategy is an attempt to address the interrelated issues of RtF, DRR and climate change adaptation through the development of a model of synergy between thematic programmes of DCA in South Asia. This could demonstrate the path for an effective integrated approach across other DCA regional offices and countries and also bring in learning for other organizations.

DCA has recognized the need of programme synergy between DRR and RtF when it comes to issues of hunger, food security and livelihood conditions that are vulnerable and at risk.

A sustainable programme
A stand-alone programme either on DRR or RtF would hardly be able to auger adequate positive changes in the lives of marginalized communities. The Hyogo Frame work for Action also promotes food security as an important factor in ensuring the resilience of communities to hazards, particularly in areas prone to droughts, floods, cyclones and other hazards that can weaken agriculture-based livelihoods. Hence, it is urgent and imperative to adhere to such guidelines to ensure sustainability of the programme.

This regional programme on RLSFS is the outcome of a wider level of consultation with vulnerable communities at risk, community institutions, volunteer task forces, government, civil society organizations and their networks in all the three countries. This is done to ensure synergy between approaches to DRR and sustainable livelihood.

Migrants’ rights

Migrants’ rights

The regional Migrants’ Rights Programme (MRP) comes under DCA’s global Active Citizenship Programme.

It represents the second phase of the former Asia Safe Migration (ASM) programme, and is currently being implemented through DCA’s Regional Offices in South Asia (SARO), Cambodia, and Burma/ Myanmar.

It works with partners in seven core countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma/Myanmar, and Malaysia.

Securing the entire cycle of migration
The focus of the programme lies on securing migrant workers’ rights through the entire cycle of migration, from origin, through transit, at destination, and at return to their home country.

The three SARO countries are mainly sending countries in this scenario, although India also plays the role of transit country for many migrants going further afield.

The programme’s main objectives, in line with this focus, are:

1. The empowerment of migrant workers to claim their rights

2. Increased accountability of governments and other duty bearers responsible for ensuring rights of migrant workers, as a result of civil society interventions

3. The strengthening of civil society organizations and government institutions working with migrants and for migrants’ rights

Humanitarian response and disaster risk reduction

Humanitarian response and disaster risk reduction

DCA's Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Risk Reduction programme addresses vulnerabilities in relation to predictable or recurring events to reduce the effects of disasters on people, property and the environment. Also, it provides immediate humanitarian assistance to the people affected by conflicts and natural disasters.

As DCA is a humanitarian as well as rights-based organisation, it links its humanitarian actions with long-term development programmes, especially the Right to Food programme.

DCA as a part of ACT Alliance
DanChurchAid is part of ACT Alliance and has been working for more than two decades in the South Asia region to provide humanitarian assistance in both sudden onset and slow onset disasters such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones, fire and drought, and complex crises caused primarily by war and conflict.

In addition, DCA's humanitarian programme interventions are usually followed by a comprehensive DRR effort, combining food security, DRR and climate change adaptation.

An advocate for local populations
DCA, along with ACT partners in the region, advocates for local populations where core humanitarian principles and standards are not respected. DCA continuously works to strengthen stakeholders’ knowledge of sphere standards and HAP benchmarks, especially the development of complaints mechanisms, the provision of adequate information, and fostering participation of disaster and conflict-affected communities.

DCA’s humanitarian action is responding to humanitarian crises mostly through short term stand-alone projects and in many cases linking immediate response interventions to right to food, disaster risk reduction and livelihood interventions.

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Feeding Rohingya refugees
Six weeks since August 25th the number of Rohingyas coming across the border to Bangladesh is slowly diminishing.

 

©Pabitra Gurung
©Pabitra Gurung
©Prodip Kumar Roy
©Lisbeth Engbo
©Lisbeth Engbo
©Lisbeth Engbo