Bangladesh: Cold wave DREF Operation No. MDRBD005

Situation Report
Originally published


GLIDE n=B0 CW-2010-000013-BGD

21 January 2010

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of unearmarked money created by the International Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

CHF 219,317 (USD 210,914 or EUR 148,704) has been allocated from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the national society in delivering immediate assistance to some 50,000 people (approximately 10,000 families). DREF-supported distributions will be completed within two months, and a Final Report will be made available by the end of June 2010. Un-earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged

Summary: Since December 2009, Bangladesh's northern and south-west region have been experiencing a severe cold wave. The cold wave combined with dense fog has had an adverse impact on the agriculture and fisheries sector as well as the quality of life of normal people. Poor people in the northern region of the country have been the worst affected. Struggling to ward off the night cold, the local population has faced a significant rise in respiratory illnesses, and in some cases death.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has predicted that further cold waves (4=B0C - 6=B0C) are likely to sweep across the northern and central parts of the country during the remainder of January as reported on 6 January 2010. According to national daily, Janakantha more than 135 people died from the cold wave across the country.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society with support from the International Federation responded swiftly to the cold wave. BDRCS/International Federation distributed 48,000 blankets from disaster preparedness (DP) stock at the national headquarters (NHQ) to 9,600 families in 64 districts. In addition, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society's district units have been collecting warm clothes and distributing them to those who are affected. The Bangladesh government and other humanitarian agencies/organizations including the UNDP have been distributing blankets/warm clothes among vulnerable people but many poor people are still unassisted. According to the weather forecast from BMD, the cold wave situation may get worse and may last another three weeks. If this occurs, the cold wave will affect peoples' daily lives, their livelihood and their income, in particular the poor. The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society/International Federation will continue the distribution of packages of warm clothes to assist 10,000 families in ten most affected districts.

The International Federation, on behalf of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, would like to thank all donors and partners for their generous support of DREF.