Climate migrants living in slums in five cities across Bangladesh have seen their livelihood opportunities improve over the last five years.
The Urban Management of Internal Migration due to Climate Change (UMIMCC)/Urban Management of Migration and Livelihoods (UMML) project carried out a range of measures in Rajshahi, Sirajganj, Khulna, Satkhira and Barishal in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare.
The project wrap-up event was held Wednesday (27 September) at the Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden, where they presented activities and accomplishments to the partners and stakeholders.
The project was funded by the German Federal Government and co-funded by the European Union (EU).
The opening session of the conference featured words from Alexander Dorzenbach, project manager, UMIMCC/UMML, GIZ Bangladesh; Additional Secretary Jobaida Begum from the Ministry of Social Welfare; and Edwin Koekkoek, team leader from the delegation to the European Union to Bangladesh.
Speakers provided event overview and objectives, key recommendations from the project. Jahan Ara, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare and PD of UMIMCC/UMML, shed light on the various aspects of climate migration and its corresponding economic challenges.
A panel discussion moderated by Dr Dana de la Fontaine, cluster coordinator, Climate Change and Sustainable Urban Development at GIZ Bangladesh, explored successful strategies to improve the lives of climate migrants and economically susceptible individuals.
Panelists included Florian Hollen, head of Development Cooperation, German Embassy at Dhaka; Edwin Koekkoek, team leader, Delegation to the European Union to Bangladesh; Prof Saleemul Huq, International Centre for Climate Change and Development; Dr Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, director general, Department of Social Services (DSS) and Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque of Khulna City Corporation.
The chief guest for the closing session, State Minister Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru, MP, Ministry of Social Welfare, delivered a powerful message stating the Ministry of Social Welfare is dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by urban migrants.
In his speech, he also said that the closing event not only highlighted the project's progress in managing climate migration, advancing urban sustainability, and fostering livelihoods but also served as a knowledge-sharing hub.
It provides a platform for stakeholders to delve into the multifaceted experiences, learnings, and novel approaches surrounding climate-induced internal migration, sustainable livelihood creation, and urban development.
"It is a privilege to witness the culmination of the UMML Project, which has not only created positive change within cities but also served as a beacon of international collaboration and commitment to sustainable urban development," said Charles Whiteley, the delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh while delivering his speech in this event.
One of the highlights of the event was handing over the policy brief that put forward critical recommendations, underlining the way forward for national policy discourse on climate-induced migration challenges.