Bangladesh has been devastated by the worst floods in living memory. Two thirds of the country is now under water and a quarter of the population has been made homeless.
"The situation is desperate. Left with little more than the clothes they are wearing, thousands of Bangladeshis are struggling to survive. Millions of people are living in the middle of filthy flood water without food to eat and under threat of dying from water-borne diseases. Immediate action is needed," commented Sir Paul Fox, Chairman of the DEC.
As the water recedes, the true scale of the crisis is emerging. Stagnant flood waters, polluted by overflowing pit latrines and the lack of clean water have produced a serious threat of disease. About 200,000 people have already been affected by diarrhoeal disease and rapid medical assistance is needed to avoid preventable death. Millions of people have lost their horses, their crops and their livelihood. It is estimated that 1 million hectares of crops have been damaged and that more than 4 million tonnes of food aid will be needed to help fight off wide-spread hunger in the country.
In addition to the spread of fatal diseases, the country could be faced with famine as crops and seedbeds have been destroyed, flood waters are preventing replanting and people have no acccss to income for buying food.
While the preparations of the Bangladeshis to deal with such a differ have effectively reduced the death toll compared to past flooding, the country is appealing for international help to cope with the immediate and long-term effects of the disaster.
Immediate relief and rehabilitation programmes are needed in the form of.
- medical help to combat water-borne diseases
- food-aid and income programmes
- clothing and shelter to house the homeless
- access to safe water
- seeds and tools for replanting within 30 days of the flood waters receding
- sanitation proiects
Jutta De Bardelaben at the DEC Media
on 0171 580 6550 or 0836 339424
The following UK aid agencies are part of the DEC appeal: ActionAid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, OXFAM, Save the Children, Tear Fund, World Vision
Donation Contact Details:
Disasters Emergency Committee
Post Box 999
for credit card donations call 0990 22 22 33