Emergency appeal launched to help more than 100,000 people hit by Bangladesh monsoon floods

Published: 17 August 2016

August 17, 2016 – Dhaka / Kuala Lumpur:  Today the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal to help thousands of people hit by extreme monsoon floods in Bangladesh. The IFRC is appealing for CHF 1.6 million Swiss francs (USD 1.7 million, Euros 1.5 million) to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent in reaching 105,000 people with emergency assistance.

In total, around 3.7 million people have been affected by the seasonal floods caused by heavy monsoon rains. Close to a quarter of a million homes have been damaged or destroyed. High river levels have also resulted in widespread river erosion, forcing many communities to relocate. Government figures estimate that almost 17,000 houses have been completely washed away.

The floods have impacted nineteen districts across the country, with the northern districts of Jamalpur, Shirajganj, Tangail, Kurigram and Gaibanda of greatest concern. They were first to be hit by flooding at the end of July.

“The floods have inflicted significant damage and hardship across the country. Homes have been completely destroyed, there’s a shortage of clean water and lack of toilets. People’s livelihoods have been left in tatters,” said Mozharul Huq, secretary general of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.

Communities in Bangladesh have become accustomed to dealing with floods, but this year’s monsoon season has been particularly bad. Floodwaters have started to recede in some areas across northern districts as they move south towards the Bay of Bengal.

“Receding floodwaters do not mean the end of the problem – quite the opposite,” said Mr. Huq. “This is when people really need help to rebuild their homes and lives. They also need support to ensure they are better prepared for such recurring natural disasters.”

Climate change has led to an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters in Bangladesh. The monsoon floods follow closely behind Cyclone Roanu which struck the country in May, affecting around 1.3 million people.

“This emergency appeal will provide vital assistance to thousands of people affected by the floods,” said Azmat Ulla, IFRC head of delegation in Bangladesh. “However, my big concern is that the frequency of these natural disasters in Bangladesh has led to donor fatigue. We are committed to providing effective humanitarian aid at a local level, but we can only do so with the necessary international financial support.”

To date, Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers have distributed food to more than 27,000 people. The Red Crescent is using nine water treatment kits, which can each treat water at a rate of 1,000 litres/hour, to provide clean drinking water to 15,000 people across Bogra, Sirajganj, Jamalpur and Kurigram.


For further information contact:

In Bangladesh:

  • Sam Smith, Communications Delegate, IFRC Asia Pacific regional office | Email: sam.smith@ifrc.org | Tel: +88 18 19238212 Twitter: @SamSmith68
  • Azmat Ulla, Head of IFRC Country Office | Email: Azmat.ulla@ifrc.org | Tel: +88 17 115 21615
  • K. Jakaria Khaled, Deputy Secretary General, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society | Email: jakaria.khaled@bdrcs.org | Tel: +88 01 811458501

In Kuala Lumpur:

  • Patrick Fuller, Communications Manager, IFRC Asia Pacific regional office | Email: Patrick.fuller@ifrc.org | Tel: +60 122308451 | Twitter: @pat_fuller

In Geneva: 

  • Benoit Carpentier, IFRC team leader, public communications | Email: benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org | Tel: Mobile: +41 79 213 2413 | Twitter: @BenoistC


For more information – http://www.ifrc.org/asia-pacific. Follow us on Twitter @IFRCAsiaPacific 

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 190 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.