IFRC launches emergency appeal to support flood-affected communities in coastal Bangladesh

Published: 25 August 2015

25 August – Dhaka / Delhi – Today, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched an 857,000 Swiss Franc (USD 911,000)  emergency appeal to provide relief and recovery support to 32,500 people in coastal districts of Bangladesh who have been hard hit by widespread monsoon flooding and the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Komen. 

The floods, which began at the end of June, inundated hundreds of villages and left over 200,000 people stranded across the districts of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Bandarban.  The situation worsened when Cyclone Komen made landfall on July 31, causing further damage to areas that were already struggling to cope with the aftermath of the floods. These disasters have impacted the lives of over 1.5 million people and destroyed around 30,000 homes.

“Many families with young children and the elderly have been left homeless. They are living in makeshift shelters on embankments and river banks,” says Simon Missiri, Head of the IFRC’s South Asia Regional Delegation. “A portion of the emergency appeal will help provide clean water as well as cash grants that will enable people to buy food and basic commodities to meet their every day needs.” 

The floodwaters have damaged seasonal crops, taking away people’s livelihoods and their ability to feed their families. The impact has been felt in other sectors such as shrimp farming, fishing and salt cultivation which rely heavily on day labourers.

Since the third week of June, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society has deployed almost 200 volunteers who have been involved in evacuation activities and distributions of food rations and other relief items. They have also been providing psychosocial support and first aid in affected communities.

The IFRC has already released funds from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to enable the Red Crescent to provide emergency relief to 15,000 people.

“This has been a silent disaster that has received little international attention. For well over a month people’s coping mechanisms have been worn down by successive waves of flooding. Cyclone Komen made a bad situation even worse. There are high levels of vulnerability in these communities which must not be neglected”, says Simon Missiri.

For further information contact:

In Dhaka:

Md. Belal Hossain, Director, Disaster Response, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society

Email: belal.hossain@bdrcs.org

Tel: +88-01711908467, +88-02-9362036

Md. Adith Shah Durjoy, Acting Disaster Operations Coordinator, IFRC

Email: adithshah.durjoy@ifrc.org

Tel. +88 02 9337314, 9345393, Mob. +88 01818257651

Skype md.adith.shah.durjoy

In New Delhi:

Rosemarie North, Communications and Advocacy Manager, IFRC

Email: rosemarie.north@ifrc.org

Tel: +91 8130918887

Twitter: @rosemarienorth

In Kuala Lumpur:

Patrick Fuller, Communications Manager Asia Pacific, IFRC.
Email: patrick.fuller@ifrc.org

Tel: +60 12 230 8451
Twitter : @pat_fuller