IFRC


Bangladesh: IFRC launches emergency appeal as floods worsen over 1.5 million people affected

Published: 26 August 2011
Today, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an appeal for 1.3 million Swiss francs (USD 1.26 million or EUR 877,543) to provide emergency relief to support 50,000 people affected by floods.

26 August - Dhaka / Kuala Lumpur / Geneva. Today, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an appeal for 1.3 million Swiss francs (USD 1.26 million or EUR 877,543) to provide emergency relief to support 50,000 people affected by the widespread floods in Bangladesh. The floods have engulfed vast areas spanning the length and breadth of the country, impacting on the lives of more than 1.56 million people.

Widespread displacement of rural populations began at the end of July in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar, when flash floods caused by heavy rains and incoming tidal surges left 300,000 people marooned. In mid-August the situation worsened, with further flooding caused by sustained torrential rains induced by the monsoon depression in the Bay of Bengal. One million people, including more than 200,000 children are now thought to be homeless, most of whom are taking refuge in temporary shelters set up in schools, cyclone shelters and public buildings or on areas of higher ground such as roadsides and embankments.

”People are living in makeshift shanties or under open sky without basic food, drinking water and sanitation facilities,” says Udaya Regmi, the IFRC’s country representative for Bangladesh. “Most of them are daily wage-earners. Without work,  many are struggling to feed their families.”

The districts of Satkhira and Jessore have been particularly hard-hit. Around 20,000 houses in 548 villages collapsed completely, and poor farmers/share croppers have lost their investment as over 66,000 acres of standing crops have been either partially or fully damaged by the floods.

Volunteers of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society in Cox’s Bazar, Satkhira and Jessore have been quick to respond, helping to evacuate people to safety as well as distributing cooked food and clothing to evacuees. Based on assessments, the IFRC’s emergency appeal will focus on providing emergency relief in these three districts including food and non-food relief items, emergency shelter materials, latrines and drinking water. Cash grants will also be distributed to help compensate for people’s lost incomes.

According to Bangladesh’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) the Brahmaputra-Jamuna, Ganges-Padma and Meghna river systems have been flowing well above danger level since mid-July 2011. As some districts of West Bengal in India bordering Bangladesh are currently experiencing floods, the situation in south western districts of Bangladesh is expected to worsen in the coming weeks due to an onrush of water downstream.

For more information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

In Dhaka:
• Stephen Ryan,regional communications delegate, IFRC
Mobile: +88 0171 411 3947 E-mail stephen.ryan@ifrc.org
Twitter: stiofanoriain

In Kuala Lumpur:
• Patrick Fuller, communications manager, Asia Pacific, IFRC
Mobile: +60 12 230 8451 E-mail: patrick.fuller@ifrc.org

In Geneva:
• Paul Conneally, head of media and public communications, IFRC
Mobile: +41 79 308 9809 E-mail: paul.conneally@ifrc.org

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 186 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions.

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. About this site & copyright