Period covered by this Operations Update: 28 December 2008 to 28 February 2009
Revised Appeal budget: CHF 5.095 million (USD 4.85 million or EUR 3.12 million)
Appeal coverage: 94.8%; Outstanding needs: CHF 261,142 (USD 274,309 or EUR 426,703).
- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated on 20 June 2007: CHF 250,000
- 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.
- Emergency Appeal budget revised on June 2008 for CHF 5,095,836 (USD 4,851,236 EUR 3,118,852)
- Operations Update no. 16 notes an extension of the operating time frame till the end of February 2009 to complete distribution activities. A final report will follow by 31 May 2009.
On account of high death toll from the floods, there was a rise in waterborne diseases: this includes diarrhoea and dysentery. Additionally, the floodwater caused damage to crops and vegetables, and destroyed households, embankments, roads, and institutions. Millions of displaced people took shelter and lived in flimsy temporary makeshift houses along the roadsides and the riverbank, while others were given accommodation in flood shelters, schools and other public buildings.
The government of Bangladesh requested for assistance from non-governmental organizations and other foreign aid agencies to cope with the situation. The International Federation and Bangaldesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) immediately responded and mobilized their own resources. The BDRCS Red Crescent Youth (RCY) were deployed to evacuate the affected people. Dried foods such as molasses and puffed rice; rice and potato; and cash were distributed to 27,500 people in all the affected districts. BDRCS with the support of the International Federation later extended their assistance by distributing non-food items to 317,500 people and more food items to 287,800 targeted beneficiaries. BDRCS mobilized five medical teams to assist and treat 12,405 patients and distributed 36,600 water purification tablets and 17,561 sachets of oral rehydration solution to the affected population. All relief assistance was distributed on time and have helped targeted beneficiaries to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives. In addition, this assistance also prevented further deterioration of the affected's assets.
Livelihood assistance was provided to 11,200 families in three of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office's (ECHO) supported districts. Paddy, wheat, onion seedlings, and saplings were distributed to the beneficiaries in the category of small-scale farmers who have lost their crop to enable them to re-cultivate and regain their livelihood and return to their normal lives.
Almost all recovery activities are completed with shelter material support yet to be provided. Though the flood is over, many of the flood affected people are still living in makeshift houses. The government has given some cash assistance for housing repair but they have used it up for more demanding needs after the second wave of floods. The International Federation and BDRCS strongly feels that the needs of the affected must be met, even though a year has passed by. This will help the targeted beneficiaries to have decent shelters for their families and will do much to protect their sense of dignity.
Due to the security situation in Bangladesh on account of the recent elections, some planned activities were not carried out in the field. As such, BDRCS and the International Federation sought to extend the operational time frame for a further two months to 28 February to ensure that all planned activities, particularly in distribution, are carried out. At this juncture, BDRCS and the International Federation would like to take this opportunity to thank all donors who have contributed to this appeal with contributions received and pledged. Donors include: American Red Cross; Australian Red Cross; Australian Red Cross/Australian government; British Red Cross; Canadian Red Cross; Danish Red Cross; the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office; Finnish Red Cross; German Red Cross; Hong Kong Branch of the Red Cross Society of China; the Intel Foundation; Irish government; Japanese Red Cross; Republic of Korea Red Cross; Lichtenstein Red Cross; Monaco Red Cross; Netherlands Red Cross; Norwegian Red Cross; Singapore Red Cross; Singapore Red Cross/Singapore government; Swedish Red Cross; Swiss Red Cross; and the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent. Additional contributions also came from: Kraft Foods; the Western Union foundation; and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' Fund for International Development; and the Voluntary Relief Fund of the World Health Organization. We would also like to acknowledge independent donors on-line, and private donors from the United States of America.