Funded by an anonymous philanthropist (fael khair in Arabic) and implemented by the Islamic Development Bank, the Fael Khair Program aims to aid Cyclone victims by (1) providing them with urgent relief through interest-free microcredit facilities and (2) by building a number of shelters in the areas most exposed to natural calamities to protect locals and their cattle from future disasters.
On November 15, 2007, a very powerful cyclone (Cyclone SIDR) impacted the South Western Coast of Bangladesh accompanied by heavy rains, a storm surge of about 20 ft high (6 meters) and wind speeds of up to 223 kph, resulting in loss of life and considerable damage in 30 of the 64 districts of the Country.
In response to the urgent need for assistance to the victims of cyclone SIDR, which impacted the south-western coast of Bangladesh in November 2007, and to provide a long-term solution to the recurring cyclones in the sub-region, an anonymous donor (Fael Khair in Arabic) has entrusted to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) a generous donation of USD 130 million, which will be utilized for the construction of several hundred School-cum-Cyclone Shelters in the coastal belt of Bangladesh as well as to provide urgent relief in the form of agricultural inputs to the SIDR affected farmers, fishermen and small businesses. In the implementation of the Program, the Government of Bangladesh and IDB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 12 May 2008. According to the MOU, IDB will implement the program and the Government of Bangladesh will provide all necessary assistance and support to IDB to ensure successful implementation of the program.
To the Left: Cyclone Sidr as Taken by Satellite; to the Right: Remnants of Cyclone Sidr, November, 2007
Key Components of the Fael Khair Program
Fael Khair Program (FKP) is utilizing the donation in two key areas:
- School-cum-Cyclone Shelters – An amount of USD 110,000,000 (USD one Hundred Ten Million) will be utilized for the construction of several hundred School-cum-Cyclone Shelters in the areas devastated by Cyclone SIDR to be used as schools in normal times and as shelters in case of calamities.
- Rehabilitation Program – The remaining balance of USD20,000,000 (USD Twenty Million) will be used to provide urgent relief in the form of agricultural inputs to the affected farmers, fishermen and other entrepreneurs.
Completed Shelters in Zone-1 (Contractor Abdul Munem, Package-1)
Program Management Office (PMO)
To implement the Fael Khair Program, the IDB has setup a Program Management Office (PMO) at the IDB Bhaban (fifth floor), Dhaka, Bangladesh headed by a Program Director, who is assisted by PMO staff, consultants and contractors.
An Advisory Committee is established in Bangladesh for maintaining high level contacts with the Government and for advising on all matters relating to the implementation of the program. It has six members as follow:
Appointed by the Government of Bangladesh:
- Secretary, Economic Relations Division
- Secretary, Ministry of Primary & Mass Education; and
- Secretary, Ministry of Food and Disaster Management
Appointed by the IDB:
- Prof. Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Former Vice-Chancellor, BRAC University;
- Prof. Dr. M. Anwar Hossain, Vice-Chancellor, Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology; and
- Dr. Mohammed Hassan Salem, Coordinator, FKP