Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Cyclone Sidr Appeal No. MDRBD003 Operations Update No. 10

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Situation Report
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GLIDE No: TC-2007-000208-BGD

Period covered by this Operations Update: 26 February to 23 April 2008.

This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 24,483,160 (USD 22.2 million or EUR 15 million) in cash, kind, or services to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to assist 243,000 families (1,215,000 beneficiaries) over two years.

Appeal coverage: 67%1;

A Preliminary Appeal was launched for CHF 3,989,305 on 16 November 2007 to mobilize immediate relief assistance.

CHF 250,000 was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

This operation is to be implemented over a two-year period and is expected to be completed by November 2009. A Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation.

Summary:

On November 15, 2007, the SIDR cyclone hit the coast of south-west Bangladesh with winds of up to 240 km per hour. Since then, more than 8.9 million people had been directly affected by the cyclone which caused extensive damages to houses, water and sanitation infrastructures, harvests, food stocks and livelihoods, also killing livestock and destroying fishing material and other income generating assets. Cyclone Sidr and two preceding floods resulted in at least 4,400 deaths disrupting the lives of millions of people in some of the poorest and most vulnerable areas of the country. Damaged roads made access to the affected areas almost impossible, and with the communications and utility services yet to be restored fully, aid workers and rescuers struggled to reach survivors in most of the affected areas. The government deployed naval ships, aircraft, and helicopters to reinforce the rescue and relief operation. Thousands of trained volunteers were active in the situation. Some 200,000 people living in the coastal zone were evacuated to safer places such as cyclone shelters, high-rise buildings and public and private houses.

Over 70,000 families (approximate 350,000 people) have been assisted with relief food and non-food items; the distribution of oral rehydration salts (ORS) packets and health education (with special focus on usage of ORS)and, hygiene practices in all 13 districts is completed. A post-relief distribution assessment will be carried out to evaluate further needs for relief intervention and monitoring the impact of the relief items distributed so far. This will be done as a complement during the transition to recovery phase, while affected community are struggling to restore their usual livelihood practises. However, the operation is fully focused on early recovery activities.

Implementation of the shelter project has taken place. Priority will be given to increasing the human resource capacity of the shelter team, selecting communities to work with and assessing shelter needs within and finalizing beneficiary lists. Priority will be given to the selection of communities, an assessment of shelter needs and the finalization of beneficiary lists. A main priority includes increasing the human resources' capacity of the shelter team.

External linkages with main stakeholders have been initiated, mostly in the area of agriculture and livelihoods with United Nations agencies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who are leading the livelihood and agriculture national working groups, as well as major donors such as the Swiss development cooperation. Information on cash transfer and selection have been shared and integrated in the BDRCS/IFRC strategy.

Progress has been achieved towards the implementation of the water and sanitation project. During this reporting period, the main focus has been on providing the community access to clean water. Field surveys have identified over 136 community-based water systems (arsenic-free tube wells) that require maintenance Contractors have been selected and work has commenced in Patuakhali, Bagerhat and Pirojpur to restore all water systems.

With the arrival of the psychosocial support programme (PSP) delegate various meetings has been held at the field level on the implementation of the psychosocial support activities in the communities. A draft programme proposal and budget in collaboration with BDRCS have been made which is pending finalization and approval.

Since the launch of the Appeal, international response has been positive. However, there is still a need for further contributions to enable BDRCS/Federation to deliver the planned assistance as laid out in this Appeal. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have contributed or pledged to this Appeal.