27 May 2013, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR affiliated International Training Center for Local Authorities in Scotland - CIFAL Scotland – will receive nearly £250,000 from the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund to improve sustainable food production and cope with the impact of climate change in vulnerable communities in the Kulna and Bagerhat districts of Bangladesh. CIFAL Scotland’s project is one among the 11 Scottish projects that have won backing from the Scottish Government and that aim to improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest people in South Asia.

 International Development Minister Humza Yousaf confirmed £3.8 million support for 11 projects in the region - including four in Bangladesh - over a period of three years (2013-2016). His announcement came after Cyclone Mahasen killed at least 13 people and destroyed thousands of homes in the south of the country, and in the wake last month’s garment factory collapse in Dhaka in which more than 1,000 people died.

May East, Chief Executive of CIFAL Scotland, said: “We are very grateful to the Scottish Government for their valuable support in helping the people of Bangladesh whose lives have been so badly affected by the devastating effects of cyclones.  The money that the Scottish Government is providing will make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable communities in Kulna and Bagerhat by providing them with the awareness, knowledge and skills to combat climate change and improve their social and economic wellbeing.”

Other entities that will receive International Development funding to implement projects in Bangladesh are Leprosy Mission Scotland, Sense Scotland, and Christian Aid. Furthermore, Mercy Corps, Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Tearfund, and Bioclimate are other beneficiary entities that will implement their projects in Pakistan.

The Scottish Government’s International Development Fund currently provides support to Scottish based organisations to work on the ground in seven countries around the world including Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

All International Development funding is clearly focused on the key objectives of poverty alleviation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and must adhere to the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Busan Partnership for Development Co-operation.

Image: Urban slums of Dhaka; UN Photo by Kibae Park