Post-Sidr rehabilitation should be union based: research body

The rehabilitation of Sidr afflicted areas should be union based, with a change in the micro-credit delivery modes, according to Power and Participation Research Centre.

bdnews24.com
Published : 18 Dec 2007, 04:57 AM
Updated : 18 Dec 2007, 04:57 AM
Dhaka, Dec 18 (bdnews24.com)—The rehabilitation of Sidr afflicted areas should be union based, with a change in the micro-credit delivery modes, according to Power and Participation Research Centre.
At a press conference held by the private research organisation Tuesday, its executive chairman Hossain Zillur Rahman said that PPRC had made post-Sidr studies in affected localities on Nov 23-27 and again on Dec 13-14.
The researchers had assessed the extent and degree of losses through interaction with the local communities, government officials and NGO workers, said Rahman.
He said his organisation had found the cyclone affected were provided with food, water and clothes after the disaster left them bereft of almost all basic necessities, and all worked together to successfully thwart epidemics. Communications were also restored as soon as possible through concerted efforts of all concerned.
"Now, the next step of economic rehabilitation in the affected areas has to be undertaken ... of which micro credit is of the utmost importance," Rahman, an economist, said.
The informal credit sector should be filling the requirements of those needing immediate cash loans, he said.
"Lots of words and promises are going around, but no visible credit providers at hand," he pointed out.
To prevent exploitation of this crisis by unscrupulous lenders, micro credit provision modes need to be adapted to benefit the local communities, Rahman said.
NGOs may concertedly introduce disbursement of large loans through local cooperatives formed area-wise, starting with the unions as the lowest unit for the purpose, he suggested.
The first phase of relief provision was implemented with districts as the basic unit for planning, formulation of strategies, implementing and controlling the operations, Rahman said.
"This should switch to the bottom of the rung—that is, the union level—to start the second phase of economic rehabilitation in the areas."
Local fishermen and farmers have first to be provided with small but adequate cash loans as the essential step to rehabilitating them, the economist said.
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