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Flooding in Bangladesh concerns Aid agency

Fri, 2 July 2004

Flooding in Bangladesh concerns Aid agency

With severe flooding in Bangladesh over the last two weeks, World Vision's CEO Helen Green, who recently visited Bangladesh, is concerned about the welfare of children in World Vision's projects in eastern and northern Bangladesh.

"This is the expected rainy season, but if the rain doesn't abate, Bangladesh authorities are predicting worse flooding in the next few weeks. Already flooded rivers have swept into hundreds of villages and marooned about 500,000 people, washed away houses and damaged crops. At least 19 people have been killed already."

Mrs Green, who is currently fronting an appeal seeking sponsors for children in Bangladesh, says the situation is urgent.

"I had a good look at their houses, and they have thatched roofs which are infested with rodents and bugs, and these roofs just cave in when the rains come. These people are the poorest of the poor, and the floods are just devastating for them."

World Vision has been working to help the people replace their thatched roofs with tin ones.

"This is the practical sort of solution that Child Sponsorship provides for poor communities," says Helen Green. "That's why it's increasingly important for us to see as many children as possible sponsored in these desperately poor countries."

Hundreds of people are killed every monsoon season in Bangladesh, home to over 130 million.

World Vision is aiming to get 3500 New Zealand sponsors on board by the end of July, for children in India and Bangladesh.

"The communities we work in are really desperately poor," says Helen Green. "In some of the areas, the Government doesn't even bother with a census. There are no roads, no infrastructure, nothing to support the people. Without agencies like World Vision, these people would have absolutely nothing, and no hope."

To sponsor a child, or donate to World Vision, phone 0800 80 2000 or check out www.worldvision.org.nz

ENDS

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