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"One of the world’s most populous, low-lying and resource-constrained countries with nearly 50% of the total population below poverty line (HDR 2011), Bangladesh is highly susceptible to various natural and man-made disasters, including climate change/variability induced hydro-meteorological events. Disaster risks and environmental challenges pose clear threats to sustainable livelihoods, human development and human life. The high level of socio-economic vulnerability (including a high degree of poverty among female-headed households), increasing frequency of disasters, human and economic losses arising from these disasters, emphasize the need to strengthen the capacities for systematic recovery of affected populations."

UNDP has been an important partner of the Government of Bangladesh, in supporting response and recovery initiatives. The Government and Donor communities have responded to recovery needs by reallocating their funds. However, recovery efforts after major disasters in the past have emphasised more on infrastructure and less on livelihoods. In 2011, to promote a coordinated approach to plan, execute and monitor post disaster early recovery and transitioning to long-term recovery processes, UNDP Bangladesh set up an early Recovery Facility (ERF) in 2011. The ERF is helping the UNDP Country Office to set up and functioning an Early Recovery Cluster to cover the areas of early recovery not covered by the other clusters.

In adherence to the global cluster architecture, the Local Consultative Group on Disaster Emergency Response (LCG-DER) chaired jointly by the Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Response, the Government of Bangladesh and the UN Resident Coordinator to Bangladesh  duly approved the reformed humanitarian architecture in 2012.  As a follow-up, cluster system in Bangladesh has been rolled out.

Members of the Early Recovery Cluster will include UN agencies, Government of Bangladesh as well as other international organizations, including (I) NGOs, important national NGOs, and donor organizations. In accordance with global cluster lead designations, UNDP shall serve as Lead Agency of the Early Recovery Cluster along with the Department of Disaster Management.

The Early Recovery Cluster would focus on areas of Early Recovery that are not covered by the other clusters such as livelihoods, community infrastructure, governance, and environment. As the lead agencies for Early Recovery Cluster, UNDP and the Department of Disaster Management, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief are working together to ensure the inclusion of these issues in early recovery policy and programmes, working together with other UN agencies, government departments and agencies (both national and local level), NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, and the Private Sector. Lead Agencies for the Early Recovery Cluster are mandated to ensure:

  • Application of development principles in a humanitarian setting,
  • National ownership; capacity utilization and support; and peoples’ participation,
  • Creation of a common platform for humanitarian and development partners to co-exist and interact,
  • Early initiation of recovery planning and key programming to minimize the gap between relief and longer-term recovery, and
  • To facilitate a smooth transition from early rescue and relief to longer term sustainable recovery and reconstruction and reduce vulnerabilities of the affected communities.



UNDP Bangladesh,
IDB Bhaban, E/8-A Begum Rokeya Sharani, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh.; Web: