Christina Chan, on her vision for BRAC’s work in climate
BRAC
by Sarah-Jane Saltmarsh
5d ago
The Good Feed: Welcome to the world’s biggest family, Christina! Let’s start with hearing a bit about your background, and what that will mean for BRAC. Christina Chan: My interest in the intersection of environmental conservation, socioeconomic development and community empowerment started in college. A transformative educational trip to Nepal during my junior year at Stanford University opened my eyes to the importance of pairing environmental conservation with support for livelihood alternatives and economic opportunities. This experience led me to pursue a Fulbright Fellowship in Nepal, w ..read more
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Life in a heatwave: What it’s like, and what we need to do
BRAC
by Anu Kumar
1M ago
Hundreds of people died across Asia in April and May 2024 as the region sweltered under blistering temperatures. It was so hot that schools had to be closed for millions of children in Bangladesh, along with in the Philippines, the Indian state of Tripura and South Sudan. Selina Parvin, a secondary teacher at a BRAC-run school in northern Bangladesh, told the BBC “the air is too hot to breathe.” BRAC convened a webinar on May 7 to discuss the multi-faceted impacts of extreme heat, how it is being fuelled by climate change, and what we need to do to respond. Some of the key insights from the ..read more
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Donors, amidst the climate crisis, do not take your focus off of extreme poverty
BRAC
by Isabel Whisson
2M ago
BRAC runs large-scale development programmes in areas like health, education, microfinance, extreme poverty reduction and humanitarian relief, reaching over 100 million people in some of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries. Our ecological footprint matters. Yet, this question misses the point of what BRAC’s most important role is. We are dedicated to fighting poverty. When it comes to climate action, our first priority is working with people living in poverty, supporting them to adapt to the climate crisis. On the one hand, questions like this point to a positive shift – a long-dela ..read more
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We must act fast on both climate displacement and adaptation. It’s right and it’s smart.
BRAC
by Jerôme Oberreit
6M ago
The relentless march of the climate crisis is continuing its devastating impact on lives and livelihoods worldwide. Bangladesh is a poignant example – it is the seventh most climate-vulnerable country in the world, and 2,000 people migrate to Dhaka every day already. This influx is equivalent to transplanting the city of San Francisco in the United States to Dhaka each year, placing immense strain on one of the world’s most densely-populated cities. The palpable impact of the climate crisis affects health, forces people and communities to seek new ways to survive – and causes unprecedented di ..read more
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Scaling up crop insurance to tackle the global food crisis: Insights from Bangladesh
BRAC
by Monirul Hoque
6M ago
“Potato crops are like procrastinating students before exams – they do most of the work in the last week of their growth cycle.” muses Shakila Akter. “Last year, I was a week away from harvesting my 0.1 acre of potatoes when a coldwave dawned early. I watched my plants shrivel and I could feel the shrinking harvest hidden under the soil waiting for me”. Northwestern Bangladesh, where Shakila lives and farms, is known for extreme weather. The climate crisis is exacerbating the extremes, with winters rapidly getting colder and summer temperatures testing thermometers – and the heat tolerance of ..read more
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Tackling the climate crisis – with a flower: A farmer’s diary
BRAC
by Ashim Shikari
7M ago
We have a new name for salt. We call it fire dust. Why? Let me tell you. I farm and live by the coast in Patuakhali, in a remote corner of southwest Bangladesh. Here, we used to have all six seasons, and they would play out the same, year after year, in all their glory – Grishmo (Summer), Borsha (Monsoon), Shorod (Autumn), Hemonto (Late Autumn), Sheet (Winter) and Boshonto (Spring).  Now we have just three seasons – a summer that sucks the life out of the land, a monsoon that brings punishing cyclones and floods and a dry winter that kills everything – even mung beans – the hardiest of c ..read more
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A new home, that never really feels like home
BRAC
by Minara Begum
7M ago
I went in search of the roof of my house. I found my neighbour’s dead body. There were corpses everywhere – strewn across paddy fields, lying in ditches, trapped under fallen trees. It was the day after Sidr in 2007, the deadliest cyclone to strike Bangladesh this century. I was in my village in Barguna, in remote southern Bangladesh. I was still recovering from the previous night. We reached the cyclone shelter at 2am, after running for half an hour straight. The wind was so strong, I thought one of us would be blown away. Cyclone Sidr was one of the worst climate extremes to hit Bangladesh ..read more
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Tackling the climate crisis – with a flower: A farmer’s diary
BRAC
by Ashim Shikari
7M ago
We have a new name for salt. We call it fire dust. Why? Let me tell you. I farm and live by the coast in Patuakhali, in a remote corner of southwest Bangladesh. Here, we used to have all six seasons, and they would play out the same, year after year, in all their glory – Grishmo (Summer), Borsha (Monsoon), Shorod (Autumn), Hemonto (Late Autumn), Sheet (Winter) and Boshonto (Spring). Now we have just three seasons – a summer that sucks the life out of the land, a monsoon that brings punishing cyclones and floods and a dry winter that kills everything – even mung beans – the hardiest of crops ..read more
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From war zone to war zone: Life in South Sudan
BRAC
by Luba Khalili
8M ago
Over 142,000 people have fled to South Sudan since April 2023, adding to the 300,000 refugees and 2.3 million internally displaced people already living in the country. The UNHCR has declared South Sudan’s refugee crisis as the largest in Africa. The world’s newest nation is ill-prepared to confront such a significant influx of people alone. Although large-scale conflicts have decreased following the peace agreement in 2018, South Sudan continues to grapple with a complex web of challenges, including ongoing violence and instability, exacerbated by the global economic downturn, the climate cr ..read more
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Artificial limbs change lives: Here’s how we can scale them up in low-income countries
BRAC
by Dr Shahinul Hoque Ripon
9M ago
When Roksana Khatun was pulled from the wreckage of the Rana Plaza factory complex, she had no idea how she was alive. The 18-year-old seamstress had been trapped under twisted steel bars and concrete for nearly 72 hours. But then, as she lay in hospital, her relief turned to horror. “The doctors told me they would have to cut off my right leg. I wished I had died under the rubble,” she said. Blessed with a keen eye for design and patterns, Roksana had always loved making clothes. Born in a family of weavers and seamstresses, she knew that she needed both legs to operate machinery. When docto ..read more
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