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Bangladesh: Aid Activities Continue at Full Throttle Following Cyclone Sidr's Devastation

After meeting the urgent needs of families in seven World Vision areas hit hard by the monster storm, our Bangladesh teams have completed relief distributions to 25,000 desperate people in non-program areas.

Updated December 12, 2007

Please note: If a sponsored child is directly affected by a crisis or disaster, it is World Vision's policy to notify that child's sponsor as soon as possible.

A World Vision staff member assists with the handling of corrugated iron sheet as part of the shelter materials being distributed to survivors of deadly Cyclone Sidr, which struck Bangladesh with massive force on Nov. 15.
© 2007 Amio Ascension/World Vision
Due to the massive humanitarian crisis caused by Cyclone Sidr, World Vision's initial aid plans — to help rebuild homes for 50,000 survivors in seven hard-hit program areas where we work — have expanded.

"The scale of the devastation is enormous," said Vince Edwards, World Vision's national director in Bangladesh. "There is need wherever we look."

Damage 'Much Worse'

A new United Nations report confirms the dire assessment — damages caused by the monster storm are "much worse than previously thought," a Reuters article said on Dec. 4. More than 2 million people are now believed to be in need of immediate, life-saving assistance.

World Vision video (53 seconds) shows vignettes of the aftermath of massive destruction caused by Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh.

To help meet the urgent need, our Bangladesh office has proposed a $15 million response plan to assist 1.3 million devastated families and children. Please consider donating now to help Cyclone Sidr survivors.

World Vision Completes First Response Phase

After delivering emergency assistance during the first critical days following the cyclone's destruction, World Vision staff began distributing shelter materials to some 50,000 people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the killer storm.

"Our initial plan was to ensure that families in our program areas who have been affected by the cyclone were given food, clothing, and shelter," Edwards said. "We have to date provided food and clothing to thousands of people ... [On Nov. 29], we [started] distributing temporary shelter to those who have lost their houses."

On Dec. 9, our relief teams also completed the distribution of emergency relief supplies to 25,000 desperate people living in the severely affected Bagerhat and Pirojpur districts of southern Bangladesh, located outside the program areas where we work. Relief packs distributed in the Bagerhat area included blankets and jerry cans for obtaining water.

In addition, three water-purifying units donated to World Vision by the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance have been set up in the Banderia, Morlegonj, and Mongla areas. These systems are producing 10,000 liters of clean water daily to serve an estimated 75,000 families — a critical need in cyclone-devastated Bangladesh, where many have been at risk of waterborne illnesses like cholera.

Our Bangladesh office is now moving into the second phase of relief efforts that will extend to the end of February. This phase will emphasize:

  • Repairing and rebuilding water points and wells;
  • Beginning economic recovery activities in fisheries and livestock raising;
  • Continuing distributions of corrugated iron sheeting to rebuild shelters;
  • Developing cash-for-work opportunities and rebuilding market places.

Safe Place for Children

Also during the second stage of its relief operations, World Vision teams will continue to construct seven Child-Friendly Spaces within our project areas. These spaces give emotionally devastated children a place to recover from their anxieties; they also provide a structured, transitional environment to prepare children for returning to schools when they reopen.

Center activities include indoor games, singing, drawing, and storytelling, as well as life skills training, health education, and cultural activities. A Child-Friendly Space in the Laudobe project area has opened, where 90 children attend each day.

World Vision relief teams wish to extend a hearty "thank you" to all who have supported our massive relief efforts — our donors, local government officials, the Bangladesh army, community leaders, local residents, and hundreds of staff members from a number of our program areas across Bangladesh. Without each participant, this monumental operation would not be possible.

Learn More

>> Read a Reuters article about the recent UN report on Cyclone Sidr.
>> Read more about World Vision staff efforts to rush urgent aid to devastated storm survivors.
>> Check out World Vision's South Asia site, which provides additional details about our response to this disaster.

Three Ways You Can Help

>> Pray for the millions of people affected by this killer storm in Bangladesh. Pray also for the ability of World Vision staff to bring help quickly and effectively.
>> Donate now to help the survivors of Cyclone Sidr.
>> Sponsor a child in Bangladesh.

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