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Bangladesh Appeals More Aid For Cyclone Victims

Bangladesh Appeals for More Aid for Cyclone Victims

Bangladesh is seeking more foreign aid for survivors of last week's devastating cyclone, which left millions homeless and thousands dead.

The Foreign Ministry released a statement Tuesday, saying Bangladesh welcomes any support from the international community. Officials say around $140 million in assistance has been pledged so far.

Five days after the powerful cyclone struck the southwestern coast of Bangladesh, tens of thousands of stranded and hungry people are still waiting for relief supplies, with many living out in the open.

In a televised speech to the nation Tuesday, the country's interim leader, Fakhruddin Ahmed, described the cyclone as a calamity and urged citizens to help those affected.

Meanwhile, the director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, Henrietta Fore, arrived in the capital, Dhaka, today to assess the damage. She said U.S. assistance would be arriving in the coming days. The United States has pledged just over two million dollars in aid.

The official death toll stands at around 3,500 people, but relief officials warn it could climb significantly after all the victims in isolated areas are accounted for.

The World Food Program says it is working with the Bangladesh military in a stepped up effort to deliver food, water, medicine and tents.

Cyclone Sidr is the worst natural disaster in Bangladesh since 1991, when a cyclone and storm surge killed around 143,000 people.


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