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World Vision Appeals to New Zealanders

New Zealanders are being asked to contribute $300,000 to help the people of Bangladesh in the wake of Cyclone Sidr.

World Vision New Zealand has two Area Development Programmes (ADPs) in the south of Bangladesh that have been severely affected by Cyclone Sidr.

They are Chitalmari ADP and Laudob ADP. Some 5,500 New Zealanders sponsor children in these two areas. No sponsored children have been reported missing. World Vision New Zealand will contact individual sponsors with any further information.

Programme officer for World Vision New Zealand, Dayan Eagar, was in Bangladesh just three weeks ago. He says the people in Chitalmari and Laudob ADPs will struggle to recover from Cyclone Sidr.

"There are 3,500 children sponsored by New Zealand in Laudob and 2,700 in Chitalmari. The families of these children really need our help. The devastation the cyclone has caused in these ADPs is a major set back. It means that World Vision New Zealand urgently needs to send more funds to these two ADPs," he says.

"We are appealing to the New Zealand public to help raise at least $300,000 for these people."

To donate to World Vision's appeal for Bangladesh, call 0800 90 5000.
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World Vision International providing aid worth more than $3m for Bangladesh


An aid package worth more than NZD$3million (USD$2million) is being set up by World Vision Bangladesh to help more than 20,000 families whose homes were torn to shreds by Cyclone Sidr.

The spread of water-borne diseases, the acute shortage of clean, safe drinking water and a severe lack of shelter are the main problems facing the survivors.

World Vision plans to assist 9,375 families who have lost their homes by providing tin sheeting, so they can begin to rebuild. The sheeting will be dispatched to those living in existing World Vision programme areas in the worst affected part of the country.

A total of 125 World Vision staff and 700 volunteers are currently involved in the response, many of them local staff who live in the south of the country.

World Vision Bangladesh National Director, Vince Edwards, has just been to the disaster zone and is now coordinating World Vision's work in the area from Dhaka.

"Many poor families who have lost their homes are now living out in the open. We need to get bundles of tin sheeting to these families urgently so they can rebuild. We are going to focus our efforts on the worst affected those who have completely lost their homes, female-headed households, the poor and those families who have children with disabilities.

"The scale of the devastation is enormous. It is very hard to get to some areas due to fallen trees. There is need wherever we look," he says.

The provision of tin sheeting will help people like 11-year-old Rika, whose home was smashed by high winds early in the morning of November 16. Rika, and her family were sheltering with their father when the cyclone struck. Rika's father was suffering a fever after trying to batten down his home in heavy rain before the cyclone.

When Cyclone Sidr struck, their home was flung into nearby marshland.

"Deep in the night, when my mother was nursing my father, we were hearing terrible sounds of high winds," says Rika.

"Our house was taken away like a toy. We found it, but without a roof and wall. My father and mother started screaming, as we were too.

"What we need most is food and a place to live. It is hard to live under open sky. But who can we go to? Most other people here are in the same situation," she says.

The Bangladesh government now estimates that at least 3000 have been killed. Director of operations for World Vision Bangladesh, Theophil Hajong, says that number will rise.

"There are many areas that are still not accessible, so many people have not been found. We think the death toll could rise as high as 10,000," he says.

In total, some four million people in 141 upazilas (subdistricts) across Bangladesh have been affected by the cyclone. A quarter of a million livestock have been killed and more than 142,000 acres of crops completely lost amounting to 600,000 metric tons of rice. In the worst affected districts, more than 50 per cent of crops and trees were destroyed.

To donate to World Vision's appeal for Bangladesh, call 0800 90 5000.

ends

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