Plan has launched its aid response in Bangladesh following floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains. With an initial budget of US $ 500,000 the global child rights organization will meet basic needs of 6,000 of the poorest and hardest hit families in three districts with emergency cash transfers.
At least 121 people have died so far and thousands left stranded since monsoon rains intensified over the last week, bringing water from upstream and swelling rivers to bursting point.
Houses have been washed away while villages and crop fields have been inundated. Media reports have emerged that families who have sought shelter on higher ground were in urgent need of food and water.
“Plan has been closely monitoring the situation. After assessing the extent of the damage, the organization concluded that government would need support from relief organizations like Plan to meet the needs of affected children and their families,” said Myrna Evora, Country Director of Plan Bangladesh.
Building from previous experience working with disasters-affected communities, Plan is distributing emergency cash transfers to families in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts in the north and Cox’s Bazar in the southeast part of Bangladesh.
As Plan does not normally work in these districts, official approval is being sought before distribution can begin, likely within the next 2 days.
Bangladesh is a flood-prone country regularly affected by disasters during the monsoon period.
Recipients of cash transfers, who typically buy things like food, medicine, seeds or livestock, say they appreciate the freedom to choose what they can buy to meet their requirement, rather than having to make do with what they are given.
The initial response will reach up to 40,000 people and should take about a week and a half to complete once approval to respond in all of the districts has been granted.
Some 11 members of Plan’s emergency response team have been deployed to the 3 districts to support the assessment and response along with other non-governmental organizations.