Due to the ongoing price hike, food prices reached an all-time high worldwide. Bangladesh is no exception. The country is also prone to climate crises and disasters. The marginalized communities of Bangladesh's Char and Haor regions are significantly impacted in terms of purchasing nutritious foods and daily commodities. Recently, the economically disadvantaged people of these regions are suffering the most in terms of food purchasing and unavailability of alternative income sources due to the ‘Festival Inflation’ during Ramadan. Considering these, CARE Bangladesh has taken one of the initiatives under the Strengthening Household Ability to Respond to Development Opportunities (SHOUHARDO III DRR) program to support 1700+ marginalized families of the most vulnerable 22 flood-prone unions of Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, and Sunamganj districts through strengthening household and community structures for safe access to shelter during natural disasters by Cash for Work (CfW) interventions in the targeted areas.
Morjina Begum is a 40-year-old widow who is the only earning member of her four-person extended family. She has no permanent job in the traditional sense and works as a house help for well-off families but does not do it regularly. Due to the lean period and the needs of her family of four, she has been struggling to take care of her family. Considering the miserable family crisis, Morjina was involved in the CfW intervention, an alternative income generation opportunity. With the cash support from the intervention, she is temporarily benefiting by purchasing food and other expenses for her family and saving a little bit for the upcoming Eid-Ul-Fitr. She also plans to spend the savings for her family to buy other necessities. She expressed her feelings about the initiative and said - “The CfW intervention is helping my poor family to eat three times a day. I will save some money to have a joyful Eid-Ul-Fitr with my family.”
Anisa Begum is one of the direct participants of the designed CfW intervention. Every year during the flood, she suffers from inundation and has to move to the shelter with her family. In the shelter, they face problems like scarcity of safe drinking water, insufficient food, lack of essential medicines, etc. A raised plinth would solve quite a few of the problems-where the houses wouldn’t be inundated in the first place, reducing the need to shift to shelters. However, she couldn't afford the cost of plinth raising for her house due to her family’s limited income.
Anisa was chosen as a project participant to work in the CfW intervention considering her miserable life situation when disasters strike. The raised plinth was a blessing for her, and the initiative helped her family respond and adapt to the impacts of floods by building a more resilient future for her. She said, “This CfW initiative is a blessing that I received this support of plinth raising during my most vulnerable time.”