”Are you listening” tells the story of rebuilding lives after a disaster

Jun 3, 2013


One of the films shown yesterday at the Millennium MDGs documentary film festival  was Are you listening by Kamar Ahmad Simon.

This is the story of little Rahul and his parents, a young family living on the coast of Bangladesh, whose house and possessions were washed away in a tidal surge. Their entire village moved inland to rebuild a dyke to protect themselves from future surges. The film shows the determination and willingness of a whole community to rebuild their lives.  It is a story about the most fundamental human instinct; the daily fight for survival.

Every year entire populations are displaced worldwide by disasters related to hazards such as floods, storms and earthquakes.  Between 2000 and 2012, at least 90 countries were struck by disasters affecting an average of more than 100,000 people in each event.  People in the least developed countries and small islands are more vulnerable to the disruptive impact of natural shocks on health, hygiene, education, nutrition and even basic shelter. "The risks are higher in poor countries and for poor people" said the UN Deputy Secretary General Mr. Jan Eliasson at the recent opening ceremony of the Fourth Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction

Because natural hazards can reverse development gains and achievements in eliminating poverty, mitigating the risks of losses and investing in preparedness before the disaster - is critical in reaching the Millenium Development Goals. UNDP’s work in Bangladesh, one of the most exposed countries to floods and natural hazards, is an example of UNDP work on Disaster Risk reduction. For over two decades, it has helped Bangladesh shift from relief and reconstruction to risk reduction and mitigation.  The results are apparent in the fewer number of lives and livelihoods destroyed by natural disasters. Today, Bangladesh is a global leader in disaster management and risk reduction.

Read more about UNDP’s work in Bangladesh here.