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GO-NGO collaboration for disaster management stressed

DHAKA, Aug 23, 2016 (BSS) - Speakers at a workshop today underscored the need for enhanced cooperation between public and private sectors to reduce loss due to recurrent disasters that have caused deaths of nearly two lakh people and financial damages of nearly Taka 50,000 crore over the last two decades.

Amid apprehension of increased intensity of disaster in future due to the impact of climate change, the country needs huge investment by 2050 to face the natural calamity and that's why collaboration between government and non-government organizations is essential, they said at the workshop in PKSF auditorium here.

Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), a leading development organization which is working with more than 200 different NGO's through its 8,000 branches in the country, organized the workshop on "GO-NGO Cooperation in Disaster Management: Bangladesh Context" with its Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad in the chair.

PKSF Managing Director Md Abdul Karim gave the welcome address while Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Md Shah Kamal spoke as the chief guest.

Terming Bangladesh as the role model in disaster management, Disaster Management and Relief secretary said, "We have developed an effective disaster management plan, but collaboration between GOs and NGOs could be made for raising awareness among the people."

"Even, the government has to invest more for building infrastructure as the government investment side by side the private sector investment is required for addressing the widespread disasters like earthquake and lightening, said the disaster secretary.

To face the natural calamity, construction of an additional 2,930 cyclone shelters will be needed by 2050 at an estimated cost of US $628 million," said Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF while presenting keynote paper at the workshop.

Besides, flood control measures could need US$ 2,671 million in investment costs and US$ 54 million in annual recurrent costs up to 2050, said he.

On the other hand, climate change is expected to result in 3.9 percent decline in rice production each year, or a cumulative total of 80 million tonnes over the period between 2005 and 2050, the workshop was told.

Under the circumstances, there is an ample scope to involve the network of the NGO's for more investment along with the support from the government to save the livelihood of the people living in the disaster prone areas, said Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF.

The government can utilize the extensive network of NGOs for the training and awareness programme at the grassroots, he said.

Along with government efforts, the PKSF has provided financial aid of nearly Taka 450 crore for emergency relief, rehabilitation and reorganizing of livelihood to the flood affected people through implementing different projects and programmes since 1998, said PKSF Chairman Dr Kholiquzzaman Ahmad.

Ruling out the NGO activities through the microcredit, the PKSF chairman told the function that "the microcredit basically did nothing for the welfare of the people as they have no comprehensive plan to bring out people from the vicious cycle of poverty."

Officials of the ministry and representatives of NGO's, among others, were present at the workshop.

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