ROME - Extreme weather and other natural disasters, from the locust plague in West Africa to freezing weather in Peru, are presenting unique challenges for the United Nations World Food Programme at a moment when it is heavily involved in Darfur and elsewhere.
"Our people on the ground are struggling to combat the effects of these disasters on millions of hungry people," said John M. Powell, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme.
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2004/128
OCHA Situation Report No. 9
Bangladesh - Floods
20 August 2004
The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organisation and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.
Appeal No. 15/2004; Operations Update no. 3; Period covered: 10-19 August 2004; Appeal coverage: 103.8%.
Launched on 26 July 2004 for CHF 4,350,000 (USD 3,440,095 or EUR 2,844,997) for six months to assist one million beneficiaries.
Outstanding needs: NA
Last week saw some respite from the flooding across the region with the water levels having receded in many of the worst-hit areas. However, heavy rainfall in the upper regions of Nepal is having a knock-on effect down-river, and water levels in Sitamarhi district in Bihar have begun to rise again.
Fears of further inundation remain while the monsoon season continues.
This output has been produced under the EMIN
project, a collaborative effort of WARPO and BWDB (FFWC), assisted by RSI
and CEGIS and funded by the CIDA
Please see actual map for the full names of each acronym.
In southeast Asia, the monsoon winds have brought the seasonal rain, and the rain has brought floods.
"Bangladesh floods every year, but this year has been especially bad, and way earlier than normal," says Alana Strong, a CRWRC staffperson in Bangladesh. "The waters are knee to thigh high in many areas, including parts of the capital where I live."
In fact, this year's monsoon season is the worst that the region has seen in six years. The floods have covered 60% of Bangladesh and large portions of northeastern India.
In an editorial first published in the Bangladeshi newspaper New Age, WFP country director in Bangladesh Douglas Casson Coutts calls on us to remember Bangladesh's poor, knocked back again by last month's floods.
Dhaka, August 19 - There have been pictures in the paper of people clamouring for food in the shelter camps in Dhaka. Millions more suffer where camera lenses cannot reach, but are represented in the various aerial shots, hiding beneath the vast sheets of water that Bangladesh has become.
And that is what worries me.
Westport, CT (August 18)--Millions of children still need assistance in Bangladesh as the nation recovers from severe flooding that has left hundreds of thousands of families in need of food, shelter, clean water and health services.
More than 700 people in Bangladesh have died from the flooding that submerged two-thirds of the country and left 10 million people homeless.
Receding water allows access to populations
DHAKA, 18 August 2004 - Falling water levels after some of the worst floods in the history of Bangladesh have allowed better access to affected populations. After a two day visit to three areas, Sylhet, Sunamganj and Brahmanbaria, UNICEF Representative Morten Giersing said the children he saw were clearly badly affected, showing visible signs of suffering from Vitamin B deficiency and living in makeshift shelters around their former homes.
In Bangladesh, over 36 million people continue to be affected by the recent flooding and more than 6 million people still require immediate relief. Christian Aid is supporting local partner organisations to help communities cope with the aftermath of the floods and to rebuild their lives.
As the floodwaters recede, the scale of the disaster is becoming clearer.
Six million people are living in makeshift shelters, their homes destroyed.
Light to moderate rainfall at a few places over the Brahmaputra, the Ganges & the South Eastern Hill basin and light to moderately heavy fall over the Meghna basin has been recorded during the last 24 hours ending at 9 A.M. today. Significant rainfall was recorded 42.0 at Kanaighat, 40.0 mm at Sunamganj and 33.0 mm at Sylhet during the same period.
GENERAL RIVER CONDITION
The Brahmaputra-Jamuna continued to fall at all points. The Ganges-Padma observed rise at upstream points while it receded slightly at down stream points.
by John Tulloch in New Delhi
The Director of the UN's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in Geneva recently called for a "culture of prevention" in tackling disasters.
As the British Red Cross Asia Floods Appeal exceeds =A3100,000, local volunteers continue to come to the aid of millions of people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
"I'm delighted with the response to the appeal so far," said Mark Astarita, director of fundraising. "This shows how moved people have been by the sheer scale of the crisis in South Asia.
In July, heavy monsoon rains led to major flooding over large areas of Bangladesh. Damage assessments, including one undertaken on behalf of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), suggest that more than 33 million people have been affected, with almost one million dwellings destroyed and some 4 million inhabitants permanently or temporarily displaced. More than 2 million acres of agricultural land have been have been submerged and countless crops destroyed.
Gareth Thomas (the UK minister for International Development) has today announced that the UK is providing an additional £15 million for the post-flood rehabilitation programme in Bangladesh, to support the Government of Bangladesh's significant on-going relief and rehabilitation work.
Bangladesh YMCA was deeply moved by the immediate response of nearly 20 YMCA movements to the urgent appeal of 27 July from the World Alliance to fund the relief work of the YMCA of Bangladesh for families affected by the catastrophic flooding in the country. The numerous letters and financial support pledged showed the real solidarity of the global YMCA Movement.
A full month after large areas of Bangladesh were flooded, some rural communities are still in desperate need of assistance. The Salvation Army is working in one such place -- Bhairab Upazila, located in the area where three rivers meet to form the large Meghna River.
Mark Malloch Brown, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is visiting Bangladesh this week, meeting with leaders, and observing relief and recovery efforts following the recent flooding. Malloch Brown praised government efforts to overcome losses caused by the flood. To bolster these efforts, UNDP and the World Food Programme are distributing food, hygiene kits, soap and clothes through national and international non-governmental organizations, funded by the UK Department for International Development.