0 . MAJOR CHANGES SINCE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE HIP
Changes introduced with the HIP amendment n°1 dated 3/07/2013 Cyclone Mahasen made landfall on May 16, 2013 in the Barisal division of southern Bangladesh, mainly affecting Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola districts. A total of 1 million people were evacuated in these areas, as well as in Chittagong division. After it made landfall, the cyclone quickly weakened and was downgraded to a tropical storm before passing over northern Bangladesh. 17 casualties were reported and 463,303 people were affected as a result of the cyclone. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) also reported 23,539 totally destroyed and 109,687 partially damaged shelters.
A series of multi-sector Joint Needs Assessments, coordinated by the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT) and carried out between end of May and end of June highlight that the main damages relate mainly to livelihood and in a lesser extent to shelter, water and sanitation.
In general, the impact has been low in terms of death toll but, significant in terms of ruined livelihoods of the affected people, due to persistent water-logging and losses of cash crops, particularly in the south of Barguna and on islands of the Bay.
The main affected areas are the immediate surroundings of coastal areas, river banks, islands and water-logged areas. The negative impact on the livelihood of the most affected population (mainly marginal small farmers, landless daily labourers and fisher men) can hardly be recovered for several months if they are not assisted, as the water is not receding and the alternative sources of income not existing during the monsoon before the next planting season of October/November (Aman).
Loss of assets and scarcity of income sources have already pushed the most vulnerable into unsustainable coping mechanisms: drowning in debts, reducing meals and diet diversity, which will inevitably result in higher malnutrition rates in a country already suffering from GAM rates above the critical humanitarian ceiling.
Emergency relief support was already provided by NGOs and the GoB in the aftermath of the cyclone. What is needed in the current phase is mainly early recovery livelihood assistance together with a support for shelter repair for a limited targeting in remote areas combined with some water, health and sanitation measures. ECHO is co-ordinating with DFID for an optimal coverage of the need gaps.
To address the situation and the needs of the affected population in Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola districts, an indicative amount of EUR 2 million will be allocated from the food assistance budget line of this HIP, which has not yet been fully allocated under the assessment round 1.