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Korean Support To WFP Builds Disaster Resilience In Bangladesh

DHAKA – In a visit to communities in Patharghata Upazila of Barguna District, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Bangladesh H.E. Mr Lee Yun-young witnessed how people in Bangladesh’s poorest district improved their resilience to natural disasters and the effects of climate change with support from the Korean company LG Electronics and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

The delegation was accompanied by the Resident Representative of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Ms Kim Bok-hee, the Managing Director of the LG Electronics Bangladesh branch Mr Song Changkeun and the WFP Representative to Bangladesh Ms Christa Räder.

“The Korean Government is very keen to extend its development cooperation for the disaster-prone, vulnerable populations of Bangladesh,” said H. E. Mr. Lee Yun-young. “We appreciate the courage and resilience of people in disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh and WFP’s support for the vulnerable people of Patherghata Upazila with the help of LG Electronics.”

He added that the Korean Government, through the KOICA Bangladesh Office, has commenced the “KOICA-WFP Food for New Village Project (FFNV)” for 2013-2015 with a budget of US$3 million. “We sincerely hope that the FFNV project will help to improve access to food and enable the poor to take advantage of development opportunities through Korea’s successful experience in rural development and WFP’s competency in aid delivery.”

"Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change,” said Räder. “The poorest people, many of whom already suffer from food insecurity and nutrition shortfalls, are hit hardest when disaster strikes as they have no financial or physical buffer. We need to act now to build their capacity to better cope with future risks.”

Since 2011, LG Electronics has contributed close to US$1.2 million (BDT9 crore) to support communities in Patharghata under the LG Hope Family project. The project focuses on creating physical, environmental, social and economic resilience, and enhancing the capacity of ultra-poor women, men, and their families to prepare for and better cope with emergencies and disasters.

“LG is wholly committed to social responsibility, establishing much-needed infrastructure, facilities and self-supporting systems that help to improve the standard of living in Bangladesh,” said Song Changkeun, of LG Electronics.

WFP works with the local government and NGOs to help villagers identify cash- and food-for-work projects that can mitigate the impact of floods and help increase agricultural production.

In 2011 and 2012, some 2,000 villagers – 70 percent of them women – participated in a variety of activities supported by WFP and LG Electronics to protect their homes and fields from flooding. They also received training on disaster preparedness and resilience building, and on ways to improve their health and hygiene and to increase and diversify their families’ income.

This year, participating women are learning how to develop their own businesses, as another way to boost household income, food security and nutrition.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Christa Räder, Representative, WFP/Bangladesh, Tel. +880-2-9183022-33, ext. 2101
Cornelia Pätz, Public Information Officer, WFP/Bangladesh, Tel. +8801755642167