Monsoon season has just finished in Bangladesh and has left many people homeless. It was the most prolonged monsoon flooding in decades. Despite the UN lauding its new initiatives for early intervention aimed at preparing communities for crises, by mid-July 550 people had been killed and 9.6 million affected by the disaster. Bangladesh’s ministry of disaster management and relief has estimated that a third of the country was already underwater by mid-July, with more rain expected up to mid-October.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, executive director of the Bangladeshi NGO Coast, said the country was far more prepared for flooding than in the past, but that populations in some flooded areas ended up in dire need because of a combination of existing localised and national crises (Covid-19). He said people’s incomes had already been hit by the government’s closure of 25 state-owned mills, mostly in the northern areas that have been flooded, and by the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost a third of the population has dropped under the poverty line. This has a huge impact on food security and purchasing power.
The UN said it had been trying to pre-empt damage to livelihoods by predicting where support needed to be sent ahead of time, using data and forecasting analytics. That had allowed the release of relief worth £4m from its reserve fund for humanitarian emergencies to counter severe flooding over the past few weeks in the form of cash, hygiene and health kits, and equipment to protect farmer’s materials from water damage.
Over 2 million children have been affected by these floods and are now either living on the streets or in orphanages as their parents can’t afford to take care of them anymore. This means that orphanages and children’s refuges are struggling to support this huge number of children and need more funds to be able to function. This means we need your help more than ever, so please donate now. Even a small donation goes a long way.