Thousands Homeless in Bangladesh;
Cyclone Hits World Vision Program Areas
Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 16, 2007
- Aid agency fears death toll could rise; livelihoods will be seriously impacted
- World Vision providing food packs to 100,000; plans to address shelter, livelihood needs
— As Bangladesh reels from Cyclone Sidr’s impact today, World Vision staff in the hard-hit coastal areas have been assessing needs and handing out dry rations of rice, molasses or sugar to survivors. More than 43,000 people living in seven of World Vision’s program areas have been made homeless or had their homes badly damaged.
The cyclone is so far reported to have killed at least 500 people. Forty-five of these deaths have been in World Vision’s community development areas. The Christian aid agency fears the number of deaths may increase, as hundreds of people, including fishermen, are still missing.
“Our relief teams have started emergency distributions, with an initial coverage of 100,000 people,” said Vince Edwards, World Vision’s Bangladesh national director. “However, several areas are inaccessible right now due to fallen trees. Our teams are also trying to reach other areas to assess damage.”
Current World Vision distributions include two kilos of flattened rice and one kilo of molasses or sugar. World Vision staff are also providing first aid to those hurt by falling trees or houses. In the coming days, the international aid agency expects to focus on shelter and household livelihoods through agricultural interventions.
“There has been a serious impact on rice crops which would have been ready for harvesting next month. These crops have been seriously damaged. People’s livelihoods are going to be very badly affected,” said Edwards.
Before the cyclone hit, World Vision staff helped evacuate some 20,000 people to cyclone shelters, coordinating with the government and trained volunteers. In total, more than 600,000 in southern Bangladesh were evacuated. The country is currently experiencing nationwide blackouts, and telephone connections to affected regions are disrupted.
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Please contact Rachel Wolff at 253.394.2214 or Casey Calamusa at 206.310.5476.
Note to Editors:
- The seven affected World Vision program areas are Aghailjhara, Mongla, Kotalipara, Chitalmari, Laudobe, Kalkini and Muksudpur.
- World Vision serves some 3 million people in Bangladesh in 49 long-term community development programs, located in 22 districts across the country. World Vision’s community programs cover education, health, nutrition, income generation, leadership development, gender empowerment and environmental development. World Vision also implements HIV and AIDS prevention projects and special projects for troubled juveniles and street children. The humanitarian has worked in Bangladesh since 1971, and employs about 730 staff in the country.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.
Who Is World Vision?
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice..