UN announces $5 million more flash flood relief for Bangladesh

Houses are still under water as the flood water is receding slowly in SylhetUNB file photo

The United Nations (UN) has announced an additional allocation of $5 million as relief to meet the immediate needs of families caught in the deadly flooding in northeastern Bangladesh, UNB reports.

After a coordinated appeal by the UN country team in Bangladesh, Martin Griffiths, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, made the announcement, said the UN office in Dhaka Thursday.

This brings the current funding of the Humanitarian Response Plan to $12 million (Tk112 crore), around 20 per cent of the necessary $58.4 million that were determined.

Over 7.2 million people have been affected by recent floods in the northeast of the country and over half of those affected need humanitarian assistance.

The funding comes from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which aims to kick-start relief efforts in a coordinated and prioritised manner when a new crisis emerges.

The focus of the CERF rapid response request is the provision of high-impact immediate life-saving assistance to those most impacted and most vulnerable households.

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis said: “The scale of the floods is more dramatic than any that have been experienced in recent memory. Many families have literally lost everything they own.”

“Many are still living in shelters. The floodwaters are receding very slowly and their homes are completely destroyed. There is an urgent need to scale up our support to the government’s emergency response.”

The Humanitarian Response Plan prioritises life-saving assistance, including emergency food security assistance, water and sanitation interventions and protection interventions targeting women and girls.

The UN is supporting the government and delivering food assistance, drinking water, cash, emergency drugs, water purification tablets, dignity and hygiene kits to the affected families and education support.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provided aid – including water, nutrition and protection services – to nearly 1 million people.

The World Food Programme distributed 85 metric tons of fortified biscuits to 34,000 households. The World Health Organization (WHO) provided 250,000 water purification tablets.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has helped pregnant women to access hospitals and positioned midwives to provide emergency obstetric support.

The WHO provided 250,000 water purification tablets to the affected people. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) donated 13.5 million water purification tablets or aquatabs and some 220,000 medical items.

The International Organization for Migration also provided 6 million aquatabs, 6000 jerrycans and 8,233 sets of tarpaulin sheets and ropes.