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Europe dispatches new assistance to the victims of monsoon floods in Bangladesh

Makeshift shelters near the Bangladesh floods © EU
19/09/2011  - 

The European Commission has allocated €5 million in response to the urgent humanitarian needs of Bangladeshis affected by the severe floods of recent weeks. This emergency funding will provide for food assistance, clean drinking water, shelter, sanitation facilities and access to healthcare for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said: "The humanitarian situation is dire in Bangladesh: hundreds of thousands of people are uprooted from their homes by the latest deluge. They are now living in appalling conditions in makeshift shelters or under the open sky. Europe's solidarity is called for, so the Commission will help fund the immediate needs of the most vulnerable among the affected. As usual, our relief activities also include disaster risk reduction – an indispensable priority in such a disaster-prone country."

A recent field assessment carried out by the European Commission confirmed the substantial destruction inflicted on houses and essential sources of livelihood. There has been significant loss of crops, livestock and fish ponds, on which millions of Bangladeshis rely for sustenance and income. Around one million Bangladeshis have been affected so far, according to official estimates. Most flooded areas are expected to remain waterlogged for several months, having a significant and protracted impact on the people living along the river basins.