By Hassan Ahmadul, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Dhaka

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) yesterday distributed a humanitarian cash grant to 2,300 households threatened by Cyclonic Storm Mora, then over the east-central Bay of Bengal and intensifying.

The households in Hatiya upazila, in the coastal district of Noakhali, received a grant of 5,000 taka (60 euros) as part of the forecast-based financing (FbF) programme, supported by the German government and the German Red Cross with technical support from the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

Noakhali was one of 15 districts, including Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong, and offshore and riverine islands (chars), whose low-lying areas faced a “storm surge of 4–5 feet above normal astronomical tide,” according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).

Gusts of up to nearly 120 kilometres per hour were forecast and all fishing boats and trawlers that would normally operate in the northern Bay of Bengal were advised to remain in port.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society cash distribution involved both private banks and the post office, and was partly carried out via mobile phone after registration of forecast-based financing beneficiaries by Red Crescent youth volunteers.

“Forecast-based financing is a great example of science-based early action getting resources to the local level ahead of a disaster,” said Maarten van Aalst, Director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

“We need to act earlier and be smarter in the face of rising risk, as highlighted at the recent climate negotiations in Bonn and the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in Cancun.

“With the help of partners, especially Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Red Cross and Red Crescent is ‘walking the walk’ on this with FbF, as demonstrated by these early actions in Bangladesh, creating a window for more effective use of humanitarian resources.”

Cyclonic Storm Mora made landfall at around 06:00 local time near Cox’s Bazar.

Photo gallery

Cyclonic Storm Mora

  • Cyclone Mora is expected to cause widespread flooding in coastal Bangladesh, affecting thousands of people
  • The IFRC and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society are particularly concerned about the potential impact of the cyclone on highly vulnerable migrant populations from Myanmar.
  • The focus of the Red Crescent has been on saving lives. Its volunteers have helped to evacuate thousands of people to safety.
  • Bangladesh Red Crescent Society has used an innovative approach to provide resources to vulnerable families before the cyclone made landfall.

Evacuated ahead of the storm by the Government, with support from the Red Crescent

Red Crescent volunteers mobilized to support evacuation and early warning efforts

highly vulnerable migrants from Myanmar living in precarious conditions in Cox’s Bazar

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society distributed humanitarian cash to nearly 2,300 households threatened by Cyclonic Storm Mora a day ahead of its landfall, part of the German-supported forecast-based financing programme in the country.