Apr 24, 2014, 12:49 pm (BST)
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Bangladesh needs US$5.7b to face cyclone, floods by 2050
DHAKA, Mar 1 (BSS) - Bangladesh needs about US $ 5.7 billion as adaptation cost to face the increased risks of cyclones and inland monsoon floods in a changing climate by 2050, says a World Bank report.

Of the total, the cost of adaptation for the railways, road networks, embankments and drainage infrastructure for inland monsoon flood due to climate change alone estimated at US $ 3.3 billion while US $ 2.4 billion to avert further damage and loss from cyclonic storm surge in a changing climate.

The estimated adaptation cost was revealed in a new World Bank report released here at a function here today titled on 'The cost of Adapting to Extreme Weather Events in a Climate Change'.

Environment and Forest Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud addressed as the chief guest at the function with Country Director of the World Bank Ellen Goldstein in the chair.

Among others, Vice Chancellor of BRAC University Dr Ainun Nishat, Joint Secretary of Environment and Forest Ministry Dr Nasiruddin and Dr Sushmita Das Gupta of the bank addressed the function.

The report said Bangladesh will require climate-smart policies and investments to make itself more resilient to the effects of climate change and added that the country also needs to climate-proof critical infrastructure to reduce the impact of extreme weather.

Currently 8 million people in the costal area are vulnerable to inundation depths greater than 3 metres and this number will increase to 13.5 million by 2050, the report said adding, in addition, another 9 million people are expected to be exposed to inundation depths above 3 metres due to climate change.

Dr Hasan Mahmud said climate change is no longer only an environmental issue as it is also development issue. Describing intensity and frequency of calamities, the minister said, over US$ 10 billion will be required for Bangladesh to face the onslaught of climate change as millions of people displaced due to climatic disorder.

"We have invested billions in adaptation measures such as flood management schemes, coastal embankments, cyclone shelters and others. However, the journey is far from being over, this study will help us better understand the additional risks caused by natural disaster in a changing climate, " he said.

At present, a severe cyclone strikes Bangladesh every three years, and the country faces serious monsoon inland flooding that may submerge over 60 per cent of the country 4 to 5 years, in a changing climate, Bangladesh is likely to experience higher intensity cyclonic storm surges and heavier, more erratic monsoon flooding.

"Adaptation to increased risks from climate-induced weather events is estimated for development worldwide, but particularly in Bangladesh," said Ellen Goldstein, country director of the World Bank.

She said this study provides an analytic framework for understanding the challenge ahead and it is building block within the World Bank's border technical and financial commitment to support to climate resilient future in Bangladesh.

Climate expert Dr Ainun Nishat laid importance on full implementation of the report and requested the World Bank to update their report in phases considering intensity and frequency of natural calamities.

The World Bank conducted the study in collaboration with the institute of water Modeling and Centre for Environment and Geographic Information Services with financial support from the government of Netherlands and the Bangladesh Climate Resilience Fund (BCCRF).
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