Dr. Eng. Fouad M. Bendimerad, EMI Chairman and Executive Director, visited the World Bank on April 8-9, 2014 to meet with World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) officials and managers, and DRM and Urban Specialists from the various regions.
On April 8, 2014, Dr. Bendimerad gave a Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) presentation on Addressing Urban Risk in Bangladesh to almost 70 World Bank staff working on DRR and Climate Change issues. He presented EMI’s approach to building urban resilience with application and illustrations from the Bangladesh Earthquake Urban Resilience Project (BUERP), a World Bank Technical Assistance project to the Government of Bangladesh funded by GFDRR. Phase 1 of the BUERP, which ended in February 2014, completed several deliverables including a Dhaka City Risk Profile and Atlas, a Legal and Institutional Arrangement Guidebook, a Risk Sensitive Land Use Planning Handbook and a Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Handbook. BUERP 1 also resulted in the structuring of a $125 Million World Bank initial investment to improve urban resilience in Bangladesh.
Dr. Bendimerad’s presentation emphasized that approaches to urban DRM studies should be based on a participatory, multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral planning process to engage the stakeholders into a consensus driven DRR agenda. It should be informed by science and validated by the stakeholders. In 15 months, BUERP 1 put in place the structure to facilitate participation and consensus building.
The approach is a proven model implemented in various megacities, including Dhaka, one of the most vulnerable cities in the world. Such approach is more likely to result in investment because there is shared understanding of risk, ownership over the problem solving process, consensus around the priorities and trade-offs, and confidence and motivation for action.