Bangladesh: Floods Appeal No. MDRBD002 Operations Update No. 10

Situation Report
Originally published


Period covered by this Operations Update: 12 December 2007 to 16 January 2008

Appeal target: CHF 7.1 million (USD 5.9 million or EUR 4.3 million)

Appeal coverage: 66%; Outstanding needs: CHF 2.4 million (USD 2.13 million or EUR 1.45 million).

Appeal history:

- An Emergency Appeal launched on 3 July 2007 for CHF 842,257 (USD 684,762 or EUR 510,459) for six months to assist 133,255 beneficiaries.

- Emergency Appeal revised on 16 August 2007 to focus on the floods. The budget was increased to CHF 7,113,119 (USD 5,907,905 or EUR 4,310,980) for eight months to assist 1,200,000 beneficiaries due to the deteriorating situation.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated on 20 June 2007: CHF 250,000


Despite the many challenges faced by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) due to the unexpected Cyclone Sidr, the national society continues to carry out activities related to the floods operation, albeit at a delayed pace. The food and non-food items (NFI) distribution for 20,000 families, as part of the floods operation in December 2007, was diverted to assist the cyclone-affected families during the emergency phase of the cyclone operation. During this reporting period, this operation has resumed its fourth phase.

The BDRCS, with the support of the Federation, continue to assist the flood-affected communities through relief items. There are currently two teams in the field distributing 23,700 blankets in 18 districts. An additional 36,800 blankets will be distributed to the remaining 40 districts within the next three weeks, bringing the total to 60,500 blankets in 58 districts.

Under the livelihoods programme, BDRCS is further assisting 11,200 families with five different types of saplings. The distribution of food rations for 22,400 flood-affected families will commence in the selected 26 districts by early February.

BDRCS volunteers continue to disseminate hygiene messages in selected communities in the five affected districts on health related issues. With the health situation in the field reverting to normal and the health infrastructure sufficient to support the affected population, the need for mobile medical teams in the field has ceased.

The rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities is a priority for families affected by the floods. As such, the remaining funds from ECHO, with their permission, will be used to scale up existing water and sanitation activities, reaching an additional 9,000 beneficiaries (1,800 families) approximately.

The situation

The year 2007 saw a frequent occurrence of disasters in Bangladesh and its devestating impact on the poverty afflicted country. Since the middle of the year, landslides, two waves of floods and the cyclonic storm affecting millions of families in many districts have ravaged the country. During the floods, the situation took a turn for the worse, with overflowing rivers causing inundation in north, northeast and central parts of the country, resulting in the massive loss of lives, livelihoods and property damages. At present, all the rivers are flowing well below their respective danger levels, and no flood situation prevails in the country.

The numerous disasters in the country has also led to an increase in the price of essential items such as rice by approximately 25 to 30 percent, further exacerbating the situation. Assistance to the vulnerable continues to be a priority, and despite all the challenges encountered, the BDRCS, with the support of the Federation and other donors, continue to assist the flood-affected families of the targeted districts. Seeds distributed in the last reporting period to the four districts of Tangail, Manikgonj, Faridpur and Shariatpur assisted 11,200 farmers with their livelihoods. Support in this form will contribute in the long-term livelihood development of marginal and small farmers, as some parent seeds are saved to generate crop production in the next harvesting season. Further, saplings for the same 11,200 beneficiaries are in the process of distribution. The five types of saplings will provide fruits, timber, herbal values and be a shield for their belongings during times of storms.

The continuous dissemination of hygiene messages in the targeted communities has helped increase understanding and awareness on the importance of personal and family health.

How we work

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The International Federation's activities are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society: Mr. M. Shafiul Alam (secretary- general), email:, phone: +88.02.935.2226.

Country delegation in Bangladesh: Mr. Selvaratnam Sinnadurai (head of delegation), email:, phone: +88.02.933.7314, fax: +88.02.934.1631.

South Asia regional delegation in Delhi: Mr. Al Panico (head of regional delegation), email:, phone: +91 11 2411 1122, fax: +91 11 2411 1128.

Asia Pacific zone office in Kuala Lumpur: Disaster management unit: Mr. Latifur Rahman (regional disaster management delegate), email:; phone: +603.9207,5723, mobile; +60.12,975,0144; regional logistics unit: Jeremy Francis (regional logistics coordinator),; +603,9207,5753; fax: 603,2161,1210.

In Geneva:,Christine South (operations coordinator), email:, phone: +41.22.730.4529, fax: +41.22.733.0395