Friday, November 23, 2007

Caritas Feeding Hungry in Bangladesh

Caritas Feeding Hungry in Bangladesh

Disaster-Preparedness Program Helped Quick Response

DHAKA, Bangladesh, NOV. 22, 2007 ( The international aid organization Caritas already distributed food to 120,000 people in the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr.

The cyclone, which hit a week ago, claimed the lives of at least 3,100 people. Rescuers fear that number could climb as high as 10,000, once more remote areas are reached. At least 1.2 million were left homeless.

The executive director of Caritas Bangladesh, Benedict Alo D’Rozario said, “During my visits to the affected areas of Bagerhat and Patuakhali districts, I have seen that the roofs of about 90% of the houses have been blown away. […] [t]he roofs of many schools have been blown away and children do not know where their books are.

“Roads are yet to be cleared for vehicles and transport connections are not fully restored yet. No ferry is available to cross the river at Kalapara. People are still under open sky and searching for their valuables from the debris. Many of them are desperately looking for or waiting for their loved ones to return as thousands of them are still missing."

Caritas Bangladesh has long-term development and disaster preparedness programs in the worst-hit areas, which helped with the speed of the response.

After completing the first round of aid, Caritas will repeat food assistance to the same families.

Over $3.2 billion worth of crops have been destroyed resulting in the loss of food and income for millions of people. Caritas will be looking at the medium- to long-term impact after the initial phase of the relief effort has ended.

The Bangladesh government promised today to feed the more than 2 million people left destitute after the storm destroyed crops, saying it had promises of some $390 million in international aid.

No comments: