A disaster is a severe disruption of the functioning of a community or society at any scale due to hazardous events interacting with conditions of exposure, vulnerability and capacity, resulting in one or more of the following : human, material, economic and environmental losses and impacts . A disaster sometimes creates a humanitarian emergency is generally defined as “a large-scale event or series of events that poses a critical threat to the health, safety, security or well-being of a community”.
The effect of disaster may be immediate and localized, but it is often widespread and can last a long time. The effect may test or overwhelm the ability of a community or society to cope using its own resources, and may therefore require assistance from external sources, which could include neighboring jurisdictions, or those at the national level or internationally.
The scale and complexity of humanitarian emergencies exceed traditional response capacities. According to Multi-hazard analysis of climate-related disasters in Bangladesh, 12.10 million people annually projected in Bangladesh affected by climate-related disasters – i.e. 660 people projected for every 1,000 people exposed to climate-related disasters (95% confidence) in Bangladesh in 2022. All actors – governments, United Nations (UN), international and local humanitarian organizations, civil society and the private sector – must be mobilized to support those in need. By working together in a coordinated way, we can significantly improve the scale and overall quality of the humanitarian response.
Natural hazards can have a significant impact on the private sector, whether large multinational companies or local micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Crises can disrupt normal business operations, cause physical damage to premises, disrupt supply chains and harm employees. As businesses are key members of the communities in which they operate, they are often among the first responders after a crisis and play an instrumental role in a localized response. They also have knowledge, skills and resources that can support disaster risk management and improve the overall quality of humanitarian response to complement government efforts.
The purpose of this brief is to provide the private sector with an overview of humanitarian coordination in Bangladesh. The document aims to focus on the most relevant elements for businesses, highlighting potential entry points for engagement.