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Assistance of local representatives, civil society and NGO's can be taken to assess the damage, instead of just depending on administration. The ultra poor face more damage in natural disasters. Cyclones destroy their homes, the high tide submerges their houses. Even the little food they have is also washed away. As a result, it is necessary to give priority to them during relief distribution and rehabilitation.

The government of India's state of West Bengal allocated 10 billion (1,000 crore) rupees for the cyclone-affected people. They faced more damage there. Their chief minister Mamata Banerjee ordered affected people to be provided with food at their doorstep and this is being done. Even if we can’t provide the affected people with food door to door in Bangladesh, we have to ensure that no one is deprived when they come to the government facilities.

The government will have to pay attention to rehabilitation after the distribution of emergency relief. They will also have to remain alert against the spread of disease in the affected areas after the water recedes.

Many of those who had been affected by the cyclones Aila and Sidr before Amphan, haven’t been rehabilitated as yet. Broken embankments were not mended either. The local economy is almost at a standstill because of damages to the shrimp enclosures and cropland. Economic activities will have to be boosted in the coastal areas. Most of the people living in coastal areas are poor. They don’t have any such savings that will tide them over for the next two or three months. Employment must be generated. Programme under the government’s social safety net will have to be strengthened too.

Local administration and public representatives have more responsibility in this regard. Assistance will have to be given to the worst affected before anything else.

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