30 June 2010, Dhaka. BRAC and the European Union (EU) signed a Euro 5 million (BDT 400 million) agreement today for "Restoring socio-economic stability and strengthening community resilience in areas affected by cyclone AILA". The EU support will help link the relief phase with the longer term reconstruction and development of the affected areas.
The signatories were Dr Stefan Frowein, Head of the EU Delegation to Bangladesh and Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director of BRAC.
The EU support, being made available under its Instrument for Stability, will provide much-needed interventions to promote socio-economic stability and to strengthen the economic and physical resilience and protection of communities against future natural disasters. Emergency support of Euro 9 million (BDT 720 million was provided earlier to AILA victims under ECHO. With this support EU continues to meet its responsibilities as a major donor during the post-AILA recovery period.
BRAC, which has been working continuously in the affected areas, will target its interventions to support poor small farmers and fishers, van pullers, small traders, homestead owners and landless day labourers over the next 18 months.
In comments made during the ceremony, Dr. Frowein said that "This additional support underlines the solidarity which the European Union has expressed with the government and the people of Bangladesh in the wake of this terrible natural disaster." and referred to the agreement with BRAC as "a competent partnership".
Dr. Hossain, in his speech, thanked EU for supporting the rehabilitation of AILA victims and noted with satisfaction the trust and confidence that BRAC had been able to earn from the EU through the effective implementation of a similar project for SIDR victims. BRAC, he said, was fully committed to serving the AILA affected people with the same efficiency and zeal.
The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to stability and rehabilitation in the coastal areas of south-western Bangladesh that were devastated and damaged by cyclone AILA.