The Averted Disaster Award Announces Bangladesh Red Crescent Society as 2022 Winner
Florianópolis, Brazil, November 29, 2022 – The Averted Disaster Award (ADA) today named the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) as the winner of the 2022 ADA award for outstanding Disaster Risk Management (DRM) intervention. BDRCS earned the recognition for their work implementing a forecast-based financing framework for vulnerable communities in Bangladesh during successive climatic events from May-July 2020.
Created in December 2021, the Averted Disaster Award is an annual competition that seeks to bring visibility to successful DRM programs and policies around the world. Today’s announcement took place at the Understanding Risk (UR) Global Forum in Florianópolis, Brazil.
David Lallemant, an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University and co-founder of the ADA, said, “The Averted Disaster Award aims to highlight successful risk reduction interventions that are otherwise invisible. As one of the ten most disaster-prone countries in the world, Bangladesh is highly exposed to severe monsoon flooding and cyclones. Through the Averted Disaster Award, we hope to shed light on impactful programs like this one, so they may be replicated, adapted and scaled in other communities that need them.”
The BDRCS’ forecast-based financing framework combines weather and climate forecasts with risk analysis to determine when and where a hazard is most likely to strike. Once a certain trigger level is reached, BDRCS releases a pre-determined amount of humanitarian funding to minimize the hazard’s impacts on families and communities.
Maricar Rabonza, a Risk Analysist and PhD researcher at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said, “The anticipatory approach of forecast-based financing is proving to be highly effective at averting the impacts of floods and cyclones in Bangladesh. The evidence shows that recipients of these early action programs are more likely to evacuate to shelters during cyclone conditions and less likely to borrow money or sell assets in the aftermath of extreme flooding.” Rabonza added, “Increasing resilience in disaster-prone zones is the key to navigating our current climate crisis.”
The ADA also announced today the premier of a short documentary about the work of BDRCS. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Doel Trivedy, the film features three families in Bangladesh positively impacted by the BDRCS forecast-based financing program. ADA partnered with the Resilient Foundation and the WaterBear Network to produce the film. Entitled “Rivers of Hope,” the documentary will be available for free on the WaterBear Network’s streaming video platform dedicated to films about the global environment. Today’s premier took place at the Understanding Risk Global Forum in Florianópolis.
The ADA also recognized today other notable applicants for the 2022 Averted Disaster Award. The ADA identified the organization Build Change as an Intervention of Distinction for their work fortifying homes and schools against climate hazards in the Philippines. The project is captured in a series of photographs currently part of an exhibition at the UR global forum in Brazil. Nikon Ambassador, Hermeilio Miguel Aquino (Kino), a photographer, director, and multidisciplinary artist photographed the project. The ADA partnered with Nikon, the Resilient Foundation, and the WaterBear Network to produce the exhibition.
In addition, the ADA awarded two Honourable Mentions; to the University of Philippines Resilience Institute for their Project NOAH and to GeoHazards International for their project Landslide Safety Action Plan, Aizawl, India.
For more information about the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society forecast-based financing project, please see the Fact Sheet at https://averteddisasteraward.org/articles/
About the ADA:
The Averted Disaster Award recognizes proactive interventions implemented around the world that help ensure that communities continue to function, thrive, and recover quickly in the face of disaster risk.
The 2023 Averted Disaster Award is open for submissions from individuals, project teams, and organizations of all sizes, regions, and industries who wish to see successful DRM interventions recognized. Additional information about nomination requirements can be found at www.averteddisasteraward.org.
The Understanding Risk Global Forum, the host for today’s announcements, is a biennial conference that convenes experts and practitioners from all around the world to showcase the best practices and latest innovations in the field of disaster risk identification and management. The Averted Disaster Award is an initiative of the Understanding Risk community and is supported by the Global Fund for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR).
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