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Corruption in cyclone preparedness and relief efforts in coastal Bangladesh: lessons for climate adaptation?

This article aims to draw possible lessons for adaptation programmes in Bangladesh by examining whether cyclone preparedness and relief interventions are subject to corrupt practices. Based on a random sample survey of 278 households, three focus group discussions and seven key-informant interviews, the article investigates the nature and extent of corruption in pre- and post-disaster interventions in Khulna before and after Cyclone Aila in May 2009. The study finds that 99 per cent of households reported losses from corrupt practices. Post-disaster interventions (such as food aid and public works schemes) suffered from greater levels, and worse types, of corruption than pre-disaster interventions (such as cyclone warning systems and disaster-preparedness training). The study suggests that these findings may hold lessons for attempts to increase resilience as current adaptation measures mirror some cyclone preparedness and relief efforts.