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CWS launches Bangladesh Cyclone Appeal

CWS launches Bangladesh Cyclone Appeal

Christian World Service asks for support to assist people in Bangladesh following the devastation caused by Cyclone Sidr, the worst storm to hit the country since 1991.

To date over 3,000 people have died and the toll could rise as high as 10,000. Official reports are still being collected from the more inaccessible areas.

The Cyclone hit the southwest of the country with winds of up to 155 km per hour and tidal surges as high as 5 metres. The homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people were washed away. Over 50,000 people have been reported injured by flying debris and floating trees.

”CWS knows how much the people of Bangladesh need our help. Living in an extremely vulnerable part of the world, they are doing what they can but without outside support this will not be enough,” says Jonathan Fletcher, CWS director. “CWS partners responded immediately with food, drinking water and medicine and more is needed.”

Action by Churches Together (ACT) International to which CWS belongs is providing emergency food supplies including rice, pulses, salt and oil as well as oral re-hydration salts through its local partners. The initial assistance ensures two meals a day for at least five days for more than 35,500 people, targeting particularly vulnerable groups of people including widows, children, the elderly, disabled and those without land. Distribution will focus on the districts of Bagerhat, Barisal, Gopalganj, Khulna and Madarapur.

ACT partners began rescue operations and evacuation in the immediate aftermath. They are anticipating a high level of need for emergency assistance given the magnitude of the devastation. The loss of crops which farmers expected to harvest next month on top of the destruction of summer crops mean that the people face acute food shortages. They are also beginning planning to provide housing and livelihood support.

One million people were successfully evacuated to specially built shelters thanks to improved early warning and preparedness measures.

More help will be needed in coming months and years to help the people rebuild their homes and communities. ACT partners will continue to improve disaster mitigation measures.

ENDS

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