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Humanitarian Crisis Looms Over Bangladesh Floods

Humanitarian Crisis Looms Over Bangladesh As Flooding Continues, Un Warns

Unceasing heavy rains in Bangladesh have prevented water levels from dropping, leading to continued flooding as well as the potential for a major humanitarian crisis, the United Nations warned today.

A spokesman for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) voiced particular concern about the upcoming high tide in the Bay of Bengal, which would considerably limit the outflow of flood water into the sea.

With that expected in early August, a serious humanitarian crisis could break out in a matter of weeks in the area, Simon Pluess told a press briefing in Geneva. The agency was also concerned about the current food shortages in Bangladesh and their implications for the future.

Unexpected flash floods in April destroyed substantial parts of the rice crop, while flooding in July wiped out the food stocks of many households. The next rice harvest in Bangladesh is expected in 10 months.

WFP has just finished distributing a week's supply of high-energy biscuits to 14,800 persons in three northern districts. The agency is also preparing to hand out some 3,000 tons of rice through several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in north and central Bangladesh.

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