June 23, 2023
DHAKA – Bangladesh has incurred $3.72 billion in economic losses in the last 20 years thanks to climate change, an expert of the Swiss embassy in Dhaka said today.
Bangladesh is the seventh most climate change-vulnerable country in the world and it ranked fifth in the world in terms of such losses, said Syeda Zinia Rashid, senior programme officer of the embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh.
Around 56 per cent of the country’s population or 9 crore people live in “high climate exposure areas”, of which 5.3 crore are subject to “very high” exposure, she said.
In Bangladesh, climate change took the highest toll on the agriculture sector, where customised microfinance can be a very effective tool in addressing the risks associated with the impacts of the global warming, Rashid said.
She made the remarks at the closing session of the first phase of Bangladesh Microinsurance Market Development Programme (BMMDP), a programme funded by the Swiss embassy in Bangladesh and anchored by the Financial Institutions Division, finance ministry and the NGO Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh.
The programme was taken to improve farmers’ well-being through enhanced agricultural productivity and increased resilience to natural disasters.
The Swiss embassy in association with Swisscontact, an independent and non-profit foundation, organised the event at Sheraton Dhaka hotel, which was attended by Planning Minister MA Mannan as the chief guest.
The BMMDP focuses on developing microinsurance products, conducting research, and enhancing capacity in the microinsurance sector in Bangladesh, Rashid said in a presentation.
More than 1.5 million farmers of 51 districts were reached through the BMMDP activities and 56,000 acres of land were covered under crop insurance, according to the organisers.