Bangladesh ranks seventh in the global top ten most affected countries in the climate risk index 2021 report. Approximately 13.3 million Bangladeshis are estimated to be displaced by 2050 due to climate change impacts. To combat challenges of climate-induced disasters, learning from the past can be instrumental in reducing risks and better support people living in ultra-poverty.
On 20 May, 2020, super cyclone Amphan tore through the coastal regions of southern Bangladesh. Sufia Begum emerged from the safety of a cyclone shelter with her husband only to find their home destroyed by a fallen tree. Seeing the damage, she broke down in tears. “We were already struggling to manage food,” she said. “Where do we live now? Where will we get the money to repair the house?”
Welcome to Liberia's Class of 2021, where women living in extreme poverty are creating a silent revolution. In a span of three years, 750 women have lifted themselves and their families out of poverty. What made it possible? Adolphus BW Doe shows us.
There is more to poverty than we see. Living below the poverty line does not only mean lack of food and money. It also encompasses lack of agency, absence of social integration, capacity deficiency in accessing essential services. To eradicate extreme poverty, approaching poverty’s multidimensional aspects is key.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant that a lot of work had to be done at the community level. Fahima Akter*, working as a credit officer at BRAC Microfinance, took on the challenge head on. She travelled across Bangladesh, helping families through their financial crises, and providing life-saving information. The inevitable exhaustion that the world had been experiencing throughout most of 2020 was catching up to Fahima.
Regular coaching and mentorship is one of the cornerstones of BRAC’s Graduation approach. In times of crises, coaching plays an even greater role in ensuring that households living in extreme poverty have the support, guidance, and encouragement they need to succeed. “Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance.” - Atul Gawande
The ready-made garments (RMG) industry in Bangladesh has rightly been pointed out as a lifeline for Bangladesh’s economy. When COVID-19 disrupted businesses all across the country, one of the first responses in saving the sector in Bangladesh by the government was to launch a USD 588 million stimulus package.
As the economic impact of COVID-19 threatens food security globally, evidence-based interventions that are proven to build resilience in the face of extreme shocks are needed more than ever. Nomita’s story shows how the Graduation approach provides the tools and resources that are crucial in these difficult times.
With lockdowns continuing to wreak havoc on the extreme poor populations in the Philippines, the Graduation pilot running there has shown great results in building the resilience and security for participants and their families.